Art and Gender – a Pedagogical Conversation(!?)

Natesh Muthuswamy with Madhushree

An email-conversation between Natesh and myself about gender, art and abstraction. Not sure how many of the questions are actually answered or whether, in the first place, the questions make sense or if there are anything such as discrete questions in this context or all of it is just another fuzzy interval in a continuous process of thinking and/or learning. If nothing else it certainly adds to the existing stream of doubts and dilemmas so that the brain feels muddled and happy. It’s a pity that WordPress humanifies all emoticons so that the multi-colour-of-consciousness-ed smileys that Natesh distributes all over the email space turn into dumb faces here!   – Madhushree

Natesh (August 4, evening) Objectivity is total rubbish. The whole thing is subjective and `gendered’. Totally bored of everything I wanted to close down totally. I saw a movie and then another movie. This woman comes on screen and life changes. Though I am not a killer, I used to make bows and arrows as a child. It struck me like an arrow. Pierced. The perfect line. The active line. Though portraits are a big no, no, it is the female face that has the line. When gender never happened, it was lions, horses and then Ganeshas. But nothing is as compelling as the female countenance with its expressive detail. And then the abstract line if she looks at you. All life connect with the line. Even a crow looks at your eyes. All of them look at you in the eye. And if she looks at you in the eye, the abstract line gets registered. I am wired again, the line is back like an addiction. And I know that it is the female line. Male gaze? Me is not interested in making; making dissolves the line. The line is instinct. The line is life. Line is life? Good title for a show….. for once I found the missing link. In the total abstraction of the line. If you can save the link between the two of you with the line, you live with him/her forever. A link that can link you with the universe. Death becomes a good friend.

Painting by Francesco Clemente

Madhushree: Whole thing is subjective – one can possibly agree to some extent, but `gendered’? Isn’t that something all of you were against at one point?

N: Actually it is a politically correct lie. If you really look at it, we try so hard to befriend intellectual idiocy…. so wasteful since they are not organic enough; hence their unfriendly, necrophiliac evaluation…. an area which is inherently contradictory since at the moment of hardness, they are very subjective with their dried-up juices…

Gender not as a negative connotation but as an inherent fact….

Please correct me…

M: Oh personally speaking I don’t really care if a work of art is `gender-biased’ or not as long as there’s some thought and work behind it. This may not be the correct attitude – I don’t know. But then what’s the correct attitude!

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Fantasy Of Disappearance Or Gender In Art 1

Natesh Muthuswamy

Don’t obsess. She told me. It meant, not to, over her. I applied it on everything. Since, of late, after Prannoy Roy started calling himself Dr. Prannoy Roy, I decided to call myself God! God blesses, “Natesh let there be some spark”?

This thing of microbes being responsible for dinosaurs’ disappearance, a new theory by scientists has “microbed” into me. I love scale. From megalomania? Earlier there was this amazing poet who’s a visionary with his drawings, Vaitheeswaran, told me, they died from diarrhea. So built a text around it, “dinosaur sambar”.

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An Ode To The Joyous Process

Natesh Muthuswamy

If you keep it tight it becomes spiritual. Or if it is the unseen, the felt, that you seek, it becomes tight. Tight is the word. Cumbersome too it becomes from material-needs since all else you had rejected in the process to make it bipolar and tight. “You” alone becomes enough. You, you and you without a reference point. At the moment of making, I mean, not while it is being built, technically called, the process. A reason why I don’t use the word creation is that the same can be said of a potter making water-pots. Has s/he got no anger, love etc.?

(Artist – Natesh M.)

The hardness of the paper, the smoothness of the tip of your pen, the fine flow of good ink and your fingertips becoming the conduit of your instinct. This happens to me to bring myself totally into this moment, this very moment! Instinct reshuffles the jumble that I am, to present on paper in a state of sensual cleanliness, in a neutral, non-committal state. If I am not bluffing you will feel space in spaces left alone by my roving line.

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