Reconciliation of the Opposites

During my time in Thane, I took a brief trip to Borivali, Mumbai to give a slide lecture at Cona, a space run primarily by Shreyas Karle and Hemali Bhuta. We had a nice conversation about public art in an Indian vs. western context, and I answered questions from students about finding one’s way as an artist and the creative process.

Shreyas printed these beautiful invitation cards for my lecture, which he titled “reconciliation of the opposites”.

Picture 2

Picture 1

Eye Contact

Thinking of using these on my Elastic City walk. They’re leftover from a sculpture I made in college. Little did I know that 8 years later I’d be using them for an entirely different purpose. Here is some context:

Viveiros de Castro was quoted by Graham Harvey:

‘Personhood and ‘perspectivity’—the capacity to occupy a point of view—is a question of degree and context, rather than an absolute, diacritical property of a particular species.'”

Diana Eck has written:

The central act of Hindu worship, from the point of view of the lay person, is to stand in the presence of the deity and to behold the image with one’s own eyes, to see and be seen by the deity… through the eyes one gains the blessings of the divine.”

In fact, a god is understood to be embodied by an image only when the eyes are added. Shops sell plastic eyes that can be attached to holy objects such as rocks, or to replace old eyes on existing statues.

Here are some holy rocks with eyes:

Here is a dung sculpture of Krishna at the moment when the artist is adding the eyes.

Here also is a remarkable earthwork by Shreyas Karle in which giant eyes were added to a mountain using stones and paint. With this action, Karle literally transformed the mountain itself into a god, or awakened the latent god within the mountain. Here, an object becomes a subject.