Are there Bad Artworks? Some Views on the Negative Evaluations of Art

Eleni Gemtou

Department of Philosophy and History of Science. National and Kapodistrian University of Athens/Greece. Email: egemtos@phs.uoa.gr

   Volume 2, Number 3, 2018 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/cjad.23.v2n301

 Abstract

The general purpose of this paper is to investigate the character of negative evaluations of art through two basic questions, which are to be answered by a historic and a cognitive/structuralistic approach, retrospectively: Do negative evaluations of art have an absolute and permanent character and can negative evaluations block the cognitive process of the creation of aesthetic experience? The definitions of artworks both as value-carriers and as the means of renewing creative and philosophic thinking are used as the basis of an argumentation that reaches the conclusion that negative evaluations of artworks are only temporary as they may change with the passage of time. Moreover, cultivated perceivers of bad artworks may gain deep aesthetic experience because of their effort to justify their negative evaluations, in which they are reminded of the principles of genuine art, due to our structuralistic thinking process based on binary opposites.

 Keywords: Art Evaluation, Structuralism, Binary Oppositions, Clement Greenberg

The Chitrakarini Temple of Bhubaneswar (Odisha, India): An Investigative Field Study

Santosh Kumar Jha

Senior Faculty, Leather Goods and Accessories Design Department, Footwear Design and Development Institute, Noida, India. Email: handicraftdesigner@gmail.com

  Volume 2, Number 1, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/cjad.21.v2n105

 Abstract

Heritage architectural and sculptural expressions are self-explanatory documents, which carries its legacy along with the wheel of time. The Chitrakarini temple of Bhubaneswar is one among such precious monuments, where the then socio-culture knowledge and ideological hemispheres had taken its materialistic identity, through precisely crafted sculptural panoramic expressions. Material wise this temple-structure could be categorized as an example of stone architecture; and is located in the Old Town area of Bhubaneswar, which is the state capital city of Odisha state, India. Goddess Chitrakarini is being worshipped in this temple- as major deity. As the name “Chitrakarini” reflects, this is a temple of “Female Painter” or “Paintress of Life”- and is world’s only known temple, which is dedicated to the goddess “Chitrakarini”- who is the divine sub-form of Goddess Saraswati– the deity of Knowledge in Hinduism. Therefore goddess Chitrakarini, establishes her identity as the goddess of Creative Intellectual Activities. This temple was built during CE 1238 to CE 1264 by one of the Vaishnav king of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty, Narasingh Dev-1. According to local religious and socio-cultural beliefs this monument is dedicated to worship and honor women’s contribution towards the creation, management and maintenance of human life-cycles over this planet. But as observed, now a day this heritage monument is detreating due to multifold issues. This temple is declared as ‘Monument Of National Importance’, under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites & Remains Act’ 1958. This paper critically investigates the present overall scenario of this temple.

Keywords: Temple Conservation, Conservation of Architectural Heritage, Conservation of Hindu Heritage Sites, Conservation of Indian Stone Sculptures, Stone Crafts Legacy in India, Hindu Architecture

Institutions of Change: Kathak dance from Courts to Classrooms

Suman Bhagchandani

Ph.D. scholar of English at Jamia Milia University, Delhi. Orcid: 0000-0001-9525-2697. Email: sumanbhagchandani@gmail.com

  Volume 2, Number 1, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/cjad.21.v2n104

Abstract:

This paper is a study of the progress of Kathak from the erstwhile courtesan culture to the contemporary classroom, structured practice. It aims to highlight the works of contributors like Nirmala Joshi and Sumitra Charat Ram as the pioneers of institutional Kathak that completely divorced its cultural past in the Mughal courts. Amidst all this cleansisng of Kathak history, Madame Menaka, one of the first female Kathak dancers to perform on the proscenium stage and to legitimise her presence by her association with insitutions of Kathak stands out. Madame Menaka truly deserves more attention in dance history and this paper aims to celebrate her life and works in Kathak. These artists and art entrepreneurs have never come together on the same platform for their contributions in the field of art and culture as they do in this paper. Their works lie scattered in biographies and articles that perform a discrete study on each of them. This paper is therefore an attempt to draw a linear development of Kathak through the works of female art contributors.

Keywords: Kathak, Madame Menaka, Mughal courts, courtesan culture

Portraiture in Indian Miniature Paintings

Sourabh Ghosh

Research Scholar, Chitkara Business School and Sr. Vice President, Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd., Chandigarh, India. E-mail: sourabhgh@yahoo.co.in

  Volume 2, Number 1, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/cjad.21.v2n103

Abstract

The art of miniature painting in India traces its origin to the Buddhist manuscript Illustrations of the Pala period in Nepal and Eastern part of India in the 8th to 11th century. The Jain manuscripts in Gujrat and Rajasthan, as early as 11th century, also point towards a practice of such illustrations. These manuscripts, apart from portraying religious literature, also covered wide ranging topics such as medicine, astrology, etc. They were profusely illustrated, and were mostly inscribed on palm leaves. Apart from serving as important treatises, they were widely used as gifts during royal marriages and accessions. However, the Mughal Rule in India brought a certain degree of sophistication, refinement and finesse to this form of art. Under successive Mughal Rulers, the art of miniature painting reached its zenith. While Babur and Humayun, who were great lovers of art and literature, could not build proper ateliers during their reigns due to their frequent military campaigns and conflicts, they were responsible for bringing to India two versatile artists, Abdus Samad and Mir Sayed Ali from the Safavid Persian Court-whose works would have significant impact on the art of miniature paintings in the Mughal Courts. Humayun’s successors Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan built some of the most significant ateliers under their rules, and some of the preeminent miniature artists like Basavan, Manohar, Bichitar, Ustad Mansur, Balchand and Murad flourished under their patronage. Some very significant works like Baburnama, Akbarnama, Razamnama, etc. were also commissioned by the early Mughal Emperors.  With the decline of the Mughal Empire, the miniature painting scene shifted to the Rajput Courts in Rajasthan and the Hill States in Northern India. Various important Schools of painting –like the Mewar, Marwar, Jaipur, Hadoti, Kangra, Basholi, and Garhwal – Schools, to name a few, started flourishing under their respective rulers. While the Mughal influence still prevailed, yet each school had its own distinctive characteristic and feature. The subjects of these paintings and manuscripts ranged from religious literature, court scenes, royal processions, flora and fauna, textiles, jewelry to elaborate equestrian and hunting scenes. However, the most riveting and captivating depictions were in the form of elaborate and brilliant  portraits of the rulers, their nobles and courtiers, which not only throw light on their magnificent reigns, but also open a window to the culture, tradition and practices of those times. This essay makes an attempt to study the fine art of portraiture in miniature paintings in the various Mughal, Provincial and Rajput Courts to bring out their historical and cultural significance.

Key Words: Miniature Painting, Mughal School, Rajput School, Portraits, Hill Schools

‘Spatial Narratives’ in Architecture: Designing a Dance Institute for the Nomadic Kalbelia community at Pushkar, Rajasthan, in India

Namrata Singh & Maulik Hajarnis

Faculty of Architecture, Parul University, Waghodia, Vadodara, Gujarat, India.

E Mail ID: hajarnismaulik@gmail.com

  Volume 2, Number 1, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/cjad.21.v2n102

Abstract

The paper begins with an overview of the Storytelling potential of Architecture. It tells how the experiential process of moving through spaces and decoding the messages embodied in Architecture has the potential to nourish the perceiver spiritually and emotionally, going beyond the physical traits of the structure and imbibed functions. To understand how a designer can imbibe a narrative while designing a project, the paper then describes the design process of an academic project – A Dance institute for the Kalbelia community at Pushkar, Rajasthan, in India. The description ends with the experiential journey of the perceiver to decode the spatial narratives encoded by the conceiver while conceiving the project; supplemented with the drawings of the design proposal and the inferences.

Keywords: Spatial narratives, Storytelling, Architecture, Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage, Kalbelia

African Inspired Bridal Shower Dress

Chimbindi Felisia1, Mangwiro Kudzai2, Dandira Tarirai3, Gwisai Josline4

1Lecturer Chinhoyi University of Technology. Email: felisiachimbindi5814@gmail.com

2Fashion Designer

3Lecturer Chinhoyi University of Technology

4Lecturer Chinhoyi University of Technology

  Volume 2, Number 1, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/cjad.21.v2n101

 Abstract

The study sought to design, construct and exhibit a collection of bridal shower dress emphasizing the roles played by a traditional African vaShona wife, inspired by kitchen utensils and artifacts used in the kitchen. Ethnographic methods were used to as the aim of the research was to give cultural interpretations on roles played by traditional vaShona wife and utensils used to cook food. Participant observations and interviews were used to assess the level of acceptance and appreciation of designs of bridal shower dress designs and come up with improvement. Findings revealed that bridal shower wear inspired by traditional kitchen utensils and artifacts is highly accepted. The youths appreciated the intergenerational transfer of culture and traditions. It was recommended that designers may incorporate cultural features on wedding gowns for brides and on grooms’ wear to depict cultural beliefs and values. Further research is required on groom’s wear to depict cultural values among the various cultural groups in Zimbabwe that include Shangani, Ndau, Ndebele and others.

 Keywords: Bridal shower, dress, bride, exhibition

Editorial: Anticipating the Household Robots

 Volume 1, Number 2, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/cjad.12.v1n200

As we are immersed in the hand-held devices, perhaps it is time now to think of another big event—the the arrival of automation and robots. It may seem very distant or vague at present but nobody can predict the arrival of some epoch-making technology. May be there would be a convergence of the so-called smart phones and household robots. Robots are there, of course, in many fields, but here we are talking about the arrival of robots for serving our household needs and personal assistance; for example, robots helping people with cooking, washing, cleaning and other repetitive activities. Even, by using such robots we can do away with certain services, which sometimes demand lowering of human dignity.

However, our attitude to robots differs from smart phones in one important aspect: our distrust of robots at home. There are several reasons behind such attitude, and here we will talk about only one aspect: design. Much of our aversion to robots lie with the stereotypical designs of robots made popular or notorious through a sci-fi presentation of the devices. In an effort to project a kind of machine-human combination, robots have been perceived as having something to do with the alien. This tendency might have emerged in the west because of polarity in the thinking pattern, whose roots are to be traced back to the duality of God and Devil. Just as anything bad was associated with the Devil, the probable sinister aspect of the robots was thought in line with that kind of Christian theological paradigm. This needs a shift in design conception.

In all other sphere we think of the design of the devices as per the demand of the components and ergonomics. The same needs to be hammered home while understanding robots and while designing robots. Household robots will be smaller and even tiny in sizes and design must follow utility and aesthetics. Industrial aesthetics depend heavily economy and in many cases, the economy dictates aesthetics. But there are counter-forces too. Such forces may not be perceptible at once or may not challenge the economy instantly. Rather such forces remain hidden and operate in subversive manner. An example of such force can be found with folk art forms, particularly the performance arts which pose a resistance to acquisition of aesthetics by economy. So the designers need to understand that attempt at achieving global uniformity may not go well with all the sections.

The market economy cannot conquer or appropriate everything. Our situation demands a truce in order to satisfy the sensibility of the customers. What we are basically suggesting is that production of household robots will need naturalization in a particular culture and the naturalization process will demand designing in consonance with the fundamental aesthetics of a particular culture. Let us wait for day.

Tarun Tapas Mukherjee

Featured Artist: M. Srinivasa Rao: the Modern Sculptor

By Archana Sonti (Artist)

 Volume 1, Number 2, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/cjad.12.v1n207

Abstract

Talent, Skill, Creativity—all in one, makes the Sculptor M.Srinivasa Rao. Trained in traditional temple sculpture in his early education at Tirupathi and reading the history books on temple sculpture, related mythological stories as part not only of his curriculum but out of his personal interest, contributed to the making of his art. These mythological characters, images, iconography,    symbols,     forms      still influence Srinivas but he presents these   to express his modern day  concepts  of new technology and contemporary city life style amalgamating both and bringing new  visual  language, sometimes  in a conscious effort and Sometimes with a subconscious manner. Traditional sculptures are geometrical and are mathematical but his are free flowing and also negating the detail design aspects of traditional sculptures, he has simplified the form and the lines in his sculptures to bring his own personalized form and concept. He says ’Indian Sculptures and art has always been surrealist, so it has a natural influence in my work.

Full Text PDF>>

 

Strategies for Teaching Textile, Clothing and Designing in Zimbabwe: a Case Study of Two Universities of Technology

Felisia Chimbindi

Chinhoyi University of Technology, Zimbabwe. Orcid: 0000-0002-8069-7180. Email: SRembe@ufh.ac.za

 Volume 1, Number 2, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/cjad.12.v1n206

Abstract

Textile, Clothing and Design programmes’ provision to students with diverse academic backgrounds in universities of technology in Zimbabwe has led to various concerns raised by the stakeholders emanating from curriculum implementation approaches, such as students’ failure, drop out and prolonged completion of programmes. This study therefore, sought to examine teaching strategies used to cater for the students in provision of the programmes in 2 sampled universities. The study adopted post-positivism paradigm and used mixed method research approach that integrated concurrent qualitative and quantitative procedures in data collection, analysis and interpretation. Questionnaire, interview and document analysis were used to collect data from 36 lecturers, 2 quality assurance directors, 2 faculty deans of studies, 2 chairpersons and 6 lecturers. Collected data were analyzed using statistical and non-statistical procedures. The study revealed that lecturers used various teaching strategies to cater for the students, despite the absence of university curriculum implementation policy.

Keywords: Diverse academic backgrounds, Textile, Clothing and Design programmes.

The ‘Contextual Modernism’ in the Silk Paintings of Maniklal Banerjee

Ashmita Mukherjee

Research Scholar, Jadavpur University. Email: ashmita5293@gmail.com

 Volume 1, Number 2, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/cjad.12.v1n205

Abstract

The paper tries to analyze the silk paintings of Maniklal Banerjee (1917-2002) who was greatly influenced by the artists of the so-called Bengal school of art. The school started by Abanindranath Tagore did not remain confined to its own time and space, but grew into dynamic new modernisms over a span of nearly a century. Art historian Sivakumar invoked a number of artists of Santiniketan and called it a “contextual modernism”. The paper tries to re-read the spirit of Santiniketan artists on the more recent and un-researched art of Maniklal Banerjee- who contextualized in his own way the Bengal ‘school’ that had by now turned into a ‘movement’. The spirit of freedom runs at the core of this movement and finds a new language in the late twentieth century artist’s renderings of daily life and Puranic narrations.

Keywords: Bengal School, Maniklal Banerjee, Abanindranath Tagore, Nandalal Bose, Indian art, Puranic art, aesthetics