I am currently writing a long article for this blog. It takes a lot of time and a lot of thinking! That is why today, I will just talk to you about two books I bought during my school trip in London. I bought them in the Victoria and Albert Museum. I love this place! You can walk around and choose to watch Chinese furniture, Indian jewels, British design, Greek sculptures or whatever. I feel good in museums. I feel protected from noise, from violence, from boring reality.
I hardly ever buy art books because I think they always end up on a shelf, catching dust and being forgotten.
But I was so fascinated by the V&A Book shop that I could not help picking a couple of books from the small Indian Art department.
The first one is small but plenty of colours, accessible and untertaining:
MADE IN INDIA by Kalim Winata and Reed Darmon (Chroniclebooks)
The back cover says: Collected in this delightfully compact book are hundreds of images of everyday India design and pop culture ephemera from the past century including folk art; religious prints; Raj-era postcards; matchbox art; Bollywood posters; household product packaging and ads; children’s comics, toys and games; and much more.
The second one is a bit more complex but certainly really interesting as it answers the questions of Art in India:
INDIAN ART by Partha Mitter (Oxford History of Art)
The author explains the evolvement of Indian Art from the Buddhist and Hindu Art and Architecture to Contemporary artists:
Excerpt about Erotic art: (p.79)
In the case of the erotic sculptures in Hindu temples, art historical interpretations reveal a basis in Christian thinking on sexuality. Faced with public displays of private acts, including oral sex, group sex, and bestiality, above all in a temple, scholars felt obliged to search for their hidden meaning. This is because such images could not be reconciled with an essentially modern, western outlook. But this search for meaning stems from our assumption that sex is a « natural » act, whereas no human activity could be more culturally conditioned. To answer to libertarians, for instance, who admire Hindu erotic art as an expression of a « natural » society, ancient Indians were no more liberated than we are. It is simply that their notion od « decency » differed from ours.
no French translation available