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South Asian Art - In Memory Of Prashant H. Fadia

Minna Philips

Five Principles for an Agile Art Experience- V

“To be or not to be..”William Shakespeare (1564 –1616)

The fifth and final principle in this series would be honesty. What does it meant to be honest? There are several answers to this depending on one’s beliefs, culture and values. One might say that following scripture is honest, to another it might be following a certain faith or personal belief, to still others it might be following scientific proofs. There is no one right answer of course. But in all of this, the question that is most essential is if we understand how to be honest with ourselves and not to fool ourselves.

Answers lead to more questions and this means that one may or may not reach a point of de-centralization. A de-centralized stance does not allow for constancy, at least not in the long run. It might allow stability for the moment. This is one place where no one likes to be- to lose control. So we turn to our beliefs and hold on to them to place ourselves and categorize ourselves into a niche, so we can say that ‘we belong’.

All of the four principles discussed in the articles before, leading up to this one, are brought together to support the principle of honesty.

Exploring ‘lightness’ through the concept of absence and looking deeper into the visible and studying the details.

Through the concept of ‘displacement’, art could be like life itself, not trying to prove anything but it exists so that we may experience.

Looking at ‘movement’ as the basis of all things- the dynamism of thought as movement itself.

And finally the paradoxes in life that allow us to question and create.

In this final article, art is viewed not just as a painting, a sculpture, an installation or drawing. Art encompasses a broader idea that includes products and processes that are beyond ‘fine art’. And for this reason, we will not use and artist or artworks to illustrate the principle of honesty, but rather discuss our society and how we function- whether in hypocrisy or in honesty.

It seems that there are three different categories of people; those that uphold all values of honesty and truth as an outward appearance, a second category of those who have had to compromise on their beliefs for the sake of personal gains, survival, power and so forth and then again a third category of people who these two groups vie for.

The first category upholds all what is righteous and seem un-relenting in their attitude towards any malice. Opinions matter and personal image is crucial. Their existence is dependent and is in contrast to the second category. The second category is guilty of having sacrificed their beliefs and is living a compromised life. This category wants more people to join them so they can feel a larger kinship and commonality and be satisfied in the notion that the majority of people are like them. Thus it seems like ‘honesty’ in all of this is a forgotten notion or just a façade, what becomes important is this upholding of personal image and a validity for a compromised existence. It is a terrible state of affairs when the majority of people are asked to either put up a façade or to compromise their lives. So to the third category, one can only ask to study the details, to not be afraid of facing paradoxes, to accept the differences, and to see that we are a dependent society and that when a butterfly flutters its wings in one part of the world, it can eventually cause a hurricane in another.

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