Sunday, 21 September 2014

On a purported blog holiday and on editorial introspection.

Today is a blog holiday. I thought I should rest a bit, sleep early instead of burning the candle from both ends. One is never not busy at the academy. There will be meetings of societies, socializing occasions like dinners, events showcasing one's talents etc to keep one busy the whole day and most of the night. Then there is the PT (sigh) and classes (snore), couple of hours spent eating sprouts and half a day spent dressing in smart casuals. Not that I am insinuating that I am doing any or all of these activities. I am merely suggesting that such are the busy lives of most of the OTs.

I had been musing on what I am going to write in the coming days. There will be events and incidents enough to write about but would that satisfy my pretence of desire to be a 'writer' one day? A prize winning writer no less!

Literary aspirations aside, I have had an occasion to rethink about the content and the philosophy of this blog. The trigger was an anecdote by a fellow OT on how she used to avoid taking pictures of people but has since amended her opinion as she felt photographs without people in them are prone to losing their context. I have a habit of avoiding photographs of people (and that includes me!) as much as I can. I prefer taking photographs of everything else under the sun. However, the lady OT's statement has a deeper meaning (whether intended or not I do not know) which I realized upon meditating on the statement for some time. And the deeper meaning, in my understanding, is whether art should exist for the sake of art alone or have a utilitarian value, a functional existence. Over innumerable weekends spent at National Gallery of Modern Arts (Mumbai) and Jehangir Art Gallery (Mumbai) watching people interact with art, I believe art can and must exist for its own sake alone. Art, like poetry, is the natural instinct of our being. [paraphrased Bill Aitken's line from 'Seven Sacred Rivers.'] People understand art instinctually. They react to it, irrespective of their prior experience with art, in a primal manner. Photography is a form of art and is also like a time capsule. You put in old love letters, photographs of one's beloved, assorted knickknack dear to one at that particular time, shut the lid of the time capsule and open it at a later date. A photograph is similar in its function. Therefore, if I do not include markers, faces and bodies, in the photographs, would the photographs be relevant at a later date?

Similar to photographs, would these blog posts be relevant at a later date without names and specifics? I try not to name anyone in this blog out of various well founded reasons. However, one is bound to reel closer to the boundaries of specifics when one tries to write about an intensive course for a batch in the higher 200s in number. In that case, what is the appropriate action? Desist from posting or go ahead with it and trample on few toes in the process? I am all for a generic blog, let us see how it goes from here.

So much for a blog holiday. However, I thought I might take some time for editorial introspection.

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