How does a civilization express its thoughts on death and rapture?
Is one’s place in the cosmos fated by destiny, or does a body have
its own agency? Are the values of men constructed differently from
those of women? These questions are considered in this talk
through multifaceted understandings of heroic, yogic, ascetic,
seductive and dangerous bodies in an exploration of the richness
of India’s art and thought.
The lecture introduces a major exhibition which is on show at the
National Museum, New Delhi until 7,June 2014. It presents a
variety of Indian aesthetic meditations on the role of art and
representation. The body is revealed not only as the subject of
art but as the repository of the values, preoccupations and
aspirations of times ancient, medieval and modern, popular as well
This comprehensive introduction to the plurality of approaches to
the body is illustrated with the finest examples of Indian art,
diverse in their geographical spread, chronology, patronage,
religion and material.
Dr. Naman P. Ahuja, curator of the exhibition, is Associate
Professor of Indian Art at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.