The thing that drew me into the book was its beautiful prose that paints vivid images in the mind of the reader. Take for example this opening paragraph.
“Art is freedom, abandon, beauty, catharsis. And it is an embrace.
Captured in its sound, design, colour, movement and space, we rejoice in that starlight. When we invest every bit of ourselves in its experience, art allows us instinctively travel within intangible, unambiguous sensuality. And it envelops us, it can be all-consuming.”
Now consider this quote where he explains what art is.
“Art is not an accident; it does not happen by mistake. It is deliberate, conscious act of creating an art object; it is a willed human endeavour.”
Using his very poetic prose, he explains to the reader how art has a conscious intent and systems within its aesthetic structure which ensures its meta-real impact. He explains how art has a way of looking at life which helps in transporting the beholder beyond the personal.
I have learned Karnatik music for a while and was hence nodding my head all the while when he explained about the nuances associated with how it is taught and practiced traditionally.
Using the example of Karnatik music, which is supposedly confined to the upper caste Hindus, the author explains how any form of art risks being confined within certain sections of the society which leads to discrimination. The author writes about his experiences and his experiments during the many years that he has practised music. He also compares the traditional art forms of Theyyam, a ritual performance art practiced by the lower castes of Kerala and Kathakali, which is considered as high art. Also, Gana pattu, the music of the lower castes and Karnatik music forms.
According to the author art should be allowed to do what it does best, that is, transform and inspire, not regulate and control. He says that people from different cultures should venture into different art forms and then only art can evolve.
The author believes that human beings created from the abstract speculation of art innumerable forms, genres, aesthetic structures and mediums to help us remain in touch with the charm within. He feels art has been caged for long within the confines of religion, social organization and functions. The equalisation of people through art is a form of destructive evolution much needed to unearth our real selves.
Author(s): T M Krishna
Publisher: Aleph Book Company
Release: April 2018
Genre: Non Fiction/Art
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