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Author Topic: What the heck! (stealing a line from DD)  (Read 1598 times)

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fineleg

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LosingNow

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Re: What the heck! (stealing a line from DD)
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2007, 08:03:00 AM »

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-naked7may07,0,5600791.story?coll=la-home-headlines
I think this photographer is the same guy who had a HBO documentary called Naked something..where he did similar things all over the world.
Very fascinating guy and his pictures are done very tastefully.. there is a difference between porn and art..this guy knows it.
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sgusa

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Re: What the heck! (stealing a line from DD)
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2007, 09:15:16 AM »

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-naked7may07,0,5600791.story?coll=la-home-headlines
I think this photographer is the same guy who had a HBO documentary called Naked something..where he did similar things all over the world.
Very fascinating guy and his pictures are done very tastefully.. there is a difference between porn and art..this guy knows it.

I have seen the HBO documentry you mention
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LosingNow

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Re: What the heck! (stealing a line from DD)
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2007, 03:52:44 AM »

Prudes rule!! Next - Medical students required to do post-mortem on clothed corpses?
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http://www.ibnlive.com/news/students-held-for-obscene--paintings/40177-3.html
Students held for 'obscene' paintings
Yagnesh Patel
CNN-IBN

Vadodara: After M F Husain, it seems of Art are under attack form the moral police.

Two students of the Fine Arts Faculty Maharaja Sayajirao University in Vadodara were arrested by the police because their paintings, which were meant for a college project were found objectionable and allegedly hurt sentiments.

On Wednesday, VHP and BJP activists damaged the paintings in the hall where they were on display, claiming they were offensive.

Students of the university have been protesting voicing one sentiment that the activists vandalised their exhibition. They are also protesting against the arrest.

"The attack was pre-planned. It wasn't just the paintings it was part of our annual evaluation. We are shocked over this. Students should be allowed to express themselves through the painting medium,” says a student, Sushma Raghav.

Even though the Fine Arts faculty members have rallied behind the arrested students, the University is lying low for the moment.

"The university did not file an FIR. We are with the students. It was a private exhibition and not meant for outsiders in the first place. The BJP has really no right to come and disrupt it,” says In Charge Dean, MSU Fine Arts Faculty, Shivji Panikkar.

But BJP leader Niraj Jain is not in the least apologetic claiming to have the support of Christian organisations as well. He has threatened "action" against the university in no uncertain terms.

“The students should be thrown out of the university and the Dean also. This is something which is unacceptable,” says Jain.

The two students will be in judicial custody till Friday. With a UP court out to get Husain for his allegedly obscene works, these arrests in Vadodara are bound to whip up larger debates around moral policing and artists' freedom of expression.

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http://www.ibnlive.com/news/india/05_2007/debate-nude-vs-nudity-whats-art-40202.html
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Nude vs nudity, what's art?
CNN-IBN
Posted Friday , May 11, 2007 at 02:56
Updated Friday , May 11, 2007 at 03:03
ART OF THE MATTER: Artist Vivan Sundaram says students should be allowed the freedom of expression.
   
India's art fraternity up in arms against the arrest of two art students in Vadodara, accused by the saffron brigade of making offensive paintings

The two students of the Fine Arts Faculty of Maharaja Sayajirao University in Vadodara are spending their second night in jail because their paintings allegedly hurt sentiments of a BJP leader

The incident comes close on the heels of artists M F Hussain’s paintings controversy. So what does it mean for democracy when artists are put in jail or subjected to moral police’s treatment for simply painting their mind?

To discuss this issue on Face the Nation with Sagarika Ghose was eminent artist Vivan Sundaram.

Sundaram condemned the incident and said moral policing had crossed all limits. “It’s a clear case of police breaking the law. The university has a special privilege that police can only enter (its premises) only if VC allows. That a local politician - without an FIR or any papers - is able to do that because of his nexus with police – is crossing all bounds,” he said.

Sundaram also clarified that the paintings in question were not even meant for public display and were only a part of an internal examination. This wasn’t a public event. This was an internal display and the Viva-Voce has still not taken place. So university and teachers are right in demanding that they should a right to assess the works and we will be critical of it if required,” he said.

However, is it also not the artist’s responsibility to respect religious sentiments? Why should an artist give a free run to his imagination?

Sundaram said the country should be encouraging of students who dare to speak their mind. “I believe we need students to be brave, expressive and make mistakes. They should have the courage to say things. If we don’t then we’ll become a passive society. We will allow fascism and all things we don’t believe in,” he said adding that Vadodara has alwys stood out as an example for letting artists be with their imagination.

“Baroda has always been in the forefront of art. The city has allowed the freedom and has believed in avant garde. Because it’s been pushed by people who have nothing to do with religion and even les to do with art is a hard fact. If ovil society doesn’t stand up and say it’s enough, it wont happen,” Sundaram said while making no bones about admitting that Gujarat “is a fascist state. The police case is an example.”
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Another debate that rages within the art circles is about nude versus nudity. What’s the difference between the two? “As moderns artist who are engaged in self-expressiveness, there are two things – nude and nudity. While nude is a very grand way of depiction, nudity is a notion that you wish to disrobe somebody. And VHP people are engaged in that depiction of nudity,” he said.

Sundaram concluded the discussion by saying that it’s the vision of the likes of VHP that’s perverse and India rather have courageous students and critical faculty and public instead of moral police.
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feverpitch

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Re: What the heck! (stealing a line from DD)
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2007, 08:44:36 AM »

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Opinion/Sunday_Specials/All_That_Matters/SHASHI_ON_SUNDAY_Husains_critics_voice_their_angst/articleshow/2144446.cms


Husain's critics voice their angst

24 Jun 2007

Shashi Tharoor



I suppose I should have been braced for the inevitable backlash that came my way in response to my column 'Why is India's Picasso staying away?', about the persecution of M F Husain, but I was still taken aback by the virulence of the attacks directed at me. Emailers and bloggers of a particular persuasion have insulted me roundly, called me everything from a deracinated intellectual to a 'jihadist', and dragged my mother, sisters and wife into their outrage as well. What on earth has happened to civilised discourse in our country? That people educated enough, and affluent enough, to have recourse to the internet, should express themselves in this manner is almost as depressing as the content of their convictions. I grew up in an India of school debates and inter-college tourneys in which we were encouraged, indeed expected, to disagree with each other, but to do so with reasoned argument, not invective. I am sure that India still exists, but it has yet to manifest itself on this issue.

There was one honourable exception to the unrelenting tirades of the self-righteous: a sincere and thoughtful email from a K V Sundaravadanan, respectfully expressing his anguish at Husain's paintings of Hindu goddesses and my defence of them. After all the hate mail i have received from those who disagree with me, it was a pleasure to hear from one who couches his concerns in such evident decency. But that does not mean he has persuaded me.

Mr Sundaravadanan acknowledges that Husain's paintings "no doubt have brought laurels to this country. But," he goes on, "what purpose have his pieces on Goddess Saraswati and Bharatmata achieved? Have they brought universal joy to the beholder? The artist should bring joy to the people and not pain or revulsion." That point, sir, is easily dealt with: few works of art elicit unanimous responses of either joy or revulsion. Aesthetic appreciation is often a subjective matter, and a painting that brings you joy might easily leave me indifferent, or vice-versa.

His second point, however, touched me. "I am an ordinary, very ordinary, individual, going about my life peacefully, without consciously causing mental or physical pain or anguish to anyone", writes Sundaravadanan. "I am probably a representative of millions of Hindus in this country or abroad, devout, and respectful to not only Hinduism but also other religions. The demolition of the Babri Masjid caused enormous mental anguish, which lasted for months. The above mentioned paintings of Mr Husain caused similar anguish which still hurts." And he adds: "i, like my millions of fellow followers of my religion, are a voiceless lot..."

Certainly the gentler voices of ordinary and well-meaning folk are all too often drowned out by the raucous cries of the extremists on both sides of any controversy these days, which is why i believe it is essential for liberal commentators like myself to listen to them. It would be foolish of us to pretend that the anguish expressed by Sundaravadanan is not real. But it is, sadly, unnecessary and misplaced.

Had Husain set out to denigrate Hinduism the way that the mobs set out to demolish the Babri Masjid, such anguish would be understandable. But Husain is a painter with a six-decade record of not just respecting Hinduism but of being inspired by it. In countless paintings he has revealed a profound and subtle appreciation of the tales and legends of Hindu tradition, allusions to which (and depictions of which) infuse much of his art. This is not some deracinated shock-jock, but an Indian as immersed in the Hindu cultural heritage as any artist who professes the Hindu faith. He has depicted goddesses and the quasi-divine characters of our mythology in his work for decades. But why unclad, Sundaravadanan may well ask. For millennia there has been a distinction in art between 'nudity' and 'nakedness'. The human form, whether ascribed to real people, mythological figures or divine beings, has long been a major subject of artists and sculptors in every tradition. Nudity was a staple of Indian art and sculpture for millennia: some of the most exquisite statues and temple carvings from antiquity depict goddesses (as well as apsaras, *harvas and mythological characters) unclothed. It is the artistic merit of the work that distinguishes a nude from a salacious or pornographic depiction of the naked body. Michelangelo's David is revered and visited by millions every month. Yet, it shows a fully naked young man in anatomically explicit detail. What is more, David is the great hero of the Jewish people. Yet, there have never been any protests by Jews or others about Michelangelo's (or many other artists') depictions of David in the nude, because the artist's intent and the quality of his work speak for themselves.

In my view, that is also true of MF Husain. His intent is neither salacious nor hostile to Hinduism: he has depicted divine figures in keeping with the artistic sensibility of his age, just as Raja Ravi Varma's depictions of Saraswati reflect the best of Victorian canons of realist art. Sundaravadanan is of course free to disagree about the merits of Husain's work or his choice of subject-matter. Not everything Husain paints is equally worthy of admiration: his output is so prodigious that some of it is uneven. I have myself publicly questioned his depiction of Indira *hi as Goddess Durga in 1971. His motives were clearly political, but as a work of art the Durga/Indira painting is still impressive. That, in the end, should be the only criterion that matters.

Sundaravadanan adds his concern that Husain's work could provoke "sexual crimes and assaults on women". That, i'm afraid, is where he loses me. No work of art can explain or justify any sex crime; if an assault occurs, the criminals should be punished, not the artist. To put the artist in the dock for the misbehaviour of his detractors is to betray the best of our civilisation at the behest of the worst. And that no right-thinking Indian should let happen.
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