Does Globalization Affect Your Art

Does Globalisation Affect Your Art (For the Better / For the Worse)?

-Veenapani Chawla

Over the last fifteen years I have been creating performance and other related work, which has been the result of intra cultural, inter cultural and inter disciplinary activity and collaboration. This came out of a need initially to stride two temporal worlds in postcolonial India. And the aim was to create a new language for performance and to evolve a new aesthetic, which perforce was hybrid. Although I use the word hybrid I would like to clarify that the intra cultural/inter cultural /inter disciplinary dialogue I engaged in was always around the invisible principles which informed a practice and not necessarily its external visible elements. Hence recently for example I was engaged in a collaborative dialogue between a Koodiyattam performer from India and a Noh performer from Japan around the technique/concept of breath in their practices.

I find such work with alien forms, which also have certain shared principles, extremely stimulating. The shock of meeting difference is creative and generates new ways of thinking.

However to prevent a universalized homogeneity from creeping into this hybrid aesthetic I find I have to constantly reach deeper into the soul of the specific cultural practices and concerns which inform my immediate environment. And in the process I find myself moving between specificity and larger aggregates.

This I believe is resonant of the world we occupy today, where there are two simultaneous but contrary movements. One, which is a movement towards larger wholes, (due in part to globalization) and the other which on the contrary is a movement towards greater atomization and towards smaller aggregates. I believe that in art practice the movement towards the larger wholes is an attempt at communication. While the movement towards the specific and atomic is a quest for meaning.

Veenapani Chawla
Pondicherry India
22.1.2004

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