Idea, practice, appreciation – this is the cycle involved in creation and enjoyment of art. Expression itself holds a great value in the artistic process. Change in external circumstances, in living conditions, have honed human skills and instincts. The aesthetic element manifesting itself through numerous practices had been taken for granted. It was only as we bid adieu to second millennium that need to protect and nurture this spirit was recognized. “Art as Vehicle of Intangible” was therefore chosen as topic worthy of artistic deliberations. Madhukali organized annual Omenad Conference on 31st December, 1st January and 2nd January 2011 with performances by various scholar-artistes leaving lasting impression on aficionados of Bhopal. Music lovers, scholars and enthusiasts had travelled from across country to attend conference and concerts during three-day event organized by Madhukali in collaboration with Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya. Several well-wishers and music-lovers had expressed their desire for organization of another such event and at cities other than Bhopal. In discussing the essence of Indian aesthetics in “Art as Vehicle of Intangible”, it had come out that more opportunities must be created for expression of art in keeping with sensibilities innate in Art, to effect course-correction.
In the domain of Indian Classical Music the urgency for safeguarding of traditional practices needs to be recognized. For it to be vehicle of intangible, Art needs to be regularly displayed. It was recognized that the there are two main areas where safeguarding efforts have to be directed.
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Rashtriya Indira Gandhi Manav Sangrahalya and Madhukali organized three day Conference on the topic, Art as Vehicle of the Intangible on December 31st 2010, January 1st and 2nd 2011. Participants from various parts of India braved the cold and were rewarded by warmth of their mutual sincerity. The nature of “intangible” was examined from several viewpoints and yet it defied concretization. While all appreciated this endeavor as a strong first step, consensus was that at least another such conclave should be organized. The Ninad concerts were both, relief and extension of discussion. Ample time was granted to revise the papers, if necessary so that IGRMS may publish a volume based on deliberations.
A full report is available on Omenad. Clips, pictures, reactions are on Facebook
Indian art has been labeled as impersonal; it has been considered as a medium for sublimation of self or soul (Atma) thus attaining union with oversoul (Paramatma). As fundamentals of all – music, dance, drama, sculpture – can be traced to originate from the same root, despite different pace and mode of evolution, Indian art followed the same general principle – to express the universal through individual. Ideas, similar and contrary, have taken contemplation of art beyond such simplicity. Past few decades have swept in a multi-pronged fluid evaluation (non-) system that changes stances unpredictably. The only certainty accorded to art is its inability to exist without purpose; such is the demand for Art as commodity that its relationship to anything intangible is no longer considered worthy of thought.
In its essence Art is intangible and is the best medium for contemplation, expression and carriage of intangible. When a young pupil learns a musical composition, ostensibly he learns arrangements of sounds; the laws governing the Raga are automatically passed. As he sculpts a lotus or chakra in the hands of a particular deity, the artiste passes a complete body of philosophy often without realizing it. The positive use of a not-so-politically-correct phrase is a reflection on the age and not on the poet. In the post-modern age the form of Indian artistic practice is definitely undergoing a sea-change. Today when Art is gradually losing its identity independent of its response to economic forces – in subservience or resistance – how safe and strong are the practices to preserve the traditional dedication to celebration of the intangible? Shall Indian Art be able to retain its fundamental rules and appeal? Is it possible to modify musical instruments without loss of innate musicality? How far does contemporary art succeed in harmonizing temporal with eternal?