#TELR (The Everyday Life Revue, January 23, 2016):
Is your (everyday) life repetitive and mundane? Does squirming life lie just underneath the layer of banality? Is the everyday always laced with fantasy and/or skepticism? What is the place of mythology in this context? Can a polluted river be a sight to behold, & might it be crucial to hold such ambivalent feelings? What is an event? Can household events be dreadful? What is totally new? Can a fleeting moment sometimes come as a gift? Equally, can dormant stories suddenly come into being again? Can a word or a gesture embody different temporalities? Can the norm and its transgression be joined together in everyday aspirations? What is extraordinary? Do concepts have sharp boundaries? (How) can something ordinary be designated as art? What does & can an artist do? Can the city go from feeling indoors to becoming outdoors? Do language, gestures and words have the capacity to produce certain kinds of resonances? Can the ordinary gesture of washing the face (say) mean a lot more? Is there a way in which the mundane changes over time? Can human subjectivity ever be fully colonized? What might be the future of experiencing and representing life (and death)? How would you describe a piece of dry wood? SynTalk thinks about these & more questions using concepts from anthropology & philosophy (Prof. Veena Das, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA), & art (Sudhir Patwardhan, Mumbai).
SynTalk is pleased and privileged to have hosted the following SynTalkrs (in alphabetical order) on its #TELR show.
Prof. Veena Das (philosophy, anthropology) is Krieger-Eisenhower Professor of Anthropology and Professor of Humanities at the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA. She is also actively associated with the Institute of Socio-Economic Research on Development and Democracy (ISERDD), a research organization based in New Delhi that works on issues of health and citizenship. She completed her Ph.D. from Delhi University in 1970, and then taught at the Delhi School of Economics for more than thirty years, alongside holding a joint appointment at the New School for Social Research from 1997- 2000. She is interested in the question of how ethnography generates concepts; how we might treat philosophical and literary traditions from India and other regions as generative of theoretical and practical understanding of the world; how to render the texture and contours of everyday life; and the way everyday and the event are joined together in the making of the normal and the critical. Her most recent books are: ‘Affliction: Health, Disease, Poverty (2015)’, ‘Living and Dying in the Contemporary World: A Compendium (edited with Clara Han, 2015)’ and ‘Four Lectures in Ethics (co-authored with Michael Lambek, Webb Keane, and Didier Fassin, 2015)’. She is the editor of Oxford Companion to Sociology and Social Anthropology in India (2002) and the co-editor of the influential trilogy on Social Suffering published between 1995-2000. She is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Academy of Social Scientists from Developing Countries, She has received honorary doctorates from the University of Chicago (2001) and the University of Edinburgh (2014). Also, she has been awarded the Ghurye Award (1977), the Anders Retzius Award (1995) and the Nessim Habif International Prize (2015).
Sudhir Patwardhan (art) is an artist, and an occasional writer and a lecturer on art. He graduated in medicine from the Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC), Pune, and moved to Mumbai in 1973 and worked as a radiologist in Thane from 1975 to 2005. His first one person show was held by Ebrahim Alkazi’s Art Heritage Gallery in New Delhi in 1979, and has since exhibited regularly both in India and overseas. He has also been a curator of exhibitions focusing on introducing new audiences to contemporary art. His recent one-person exhibitions include ‘Line by Line’, an exhibition of Drawings at Gallery 88, Kolkata (January 2016), and ‘Route Maps’ at The Guild and Jehangir Art Gallery (2012). He has also participated in or exhibited at the Kochi-Muzris Biennale 2014 – Modernist Art from India; Rubin Museum, New York (2011-12); Lunds Konsthall, Lund, Sweden; and ‘Social Fabric’ (curated by Grant Watson) at INIVA, London, among others. Ranjit Hoskote has written two books on Sudhir Patwardhan’s work: ‘The Complicit Observer’ published in 2004, and ‘The Crafting of Reality’ published in 2007. A monograph in Marathi, written by Padmakar Kulkarni was published in 2005. Anjali Monteiro and K. P. Jaysankar have made a film on him, along with the work of the poet Narayan Surve, titled ‘Saacha’, in 2001. His works are in the permanent collection of National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), New Delhi and Mumbai; Roopankar Museum, Bhopal; Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi; Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, USA, and other prominent private and public collections around the world. He lives and works in Thane, near Mumbai.
Note: Any & all errors in the brief profiles above are SynTalk’s own.
#TELR mentions: Kālidāsa, Abhinavagupta, Edgar Allan Poe, Cézanne, Wittgenstein, Marcel Duchamp, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, J. M. Coetzee, Damien Hirst, Robert R. Desjarlais, Jean-Luc Godard, & Mohamedou Ould Slahi, among others.