Author: Sumathi Ramaswamy
Editor(s): Sumathi Ramaswamy
Publisher: Sage Publications
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0761997563
This volume analyses the material and political impact of a wide array of artifacts, media, and habits with the aim of understanding the principal contours of the visual practices and ideologies that distinguish an Indian modern.
A striking feature of modern-day society is the ubiquity of visuals and images in everyday life. According to metropolitan theorists, modernity is marked by the hegemony of vision, with everything being measured by its ability to show or be shown. But how does this linking of the visual to the modern stand up to scrutiny when placed within the contexts of the complicated picture-worlds, print-complexes and image-cultures of India? This is the principal question investigated by Beyond Appearances? The 11 essays in this book analyses the material and political impact of a wide array of artifacts, media, and habits with the aim of understanding the principal contours of the visual practices and ideologies that distinguish an Indian modern.
Recognizing the enormous power contained within images to transform and mobilize self and community, the contributors focus on a variety of visual media including the fine art and calendar art, theatre and popular cinema, photography, documentary films and propaganda videos, and maps. In the process, they also examine the inter-visual dialogue between these diverse media, exploring their underlying technologies of production and modalities of circulation and exchange.
The volume is also crucially concerned with understanding the role of visualty (broadly understood as regimes of seeing and being seen) in the constitution of national, ethnic, religious and community identities in modern India. The contributors contend that visuality does not lie outside history, culture or politics, and that the visual is constitutive of both the social and the political.
Overall, this volume draws attention to the fact that the visual cannot be treated as a mere supplement to knowledge derived from written texts but constitutes a distinct field of substantive and theoretical enquiry. Multi-disciplinary, comprehensive and informative, this fascinating volume will be of interest to students and scholars in the fields of visual culture, sociology, anthropology, art history, political science and media studies.
List of Illustrations
List of Color Plates
Mechanical reproduction and the world of the colonial artist
More than meets the eye: The circulation images and the embodiment of value
Evolving a monkey: Hanuman, poster art and postcolonial anxiety
A secret of their own country: Or how Indian nationalism made itself irrefutable
Visualizing India's geo-body: Globes, maps, bodyscapes
Unity in Diversity? Dilemmas of nationhood in Indian Calendar Art
Moving Pictures: The postcolonial state and visual representations of India
Hindutva intervisuality: Videos and the politics of representaton
Penetrating gazes: The poetics of sight and visual display in popular Indian cinema
Merchant houses as apectacles of moderinity in Rajastan and Tamil Nadu
The realm of the visual: Agency and modern civil society
About the Editor and Contributors