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In the Name of the Goddess: The Durga Pujas of Contemporary Kolkata

Price : $139.75
ISBN # : 9789384082468
Author : Tapati Guha Thakurta
pages: 408
Edition : Hardcover
Volumes : 1
Publisher : Primus Books
Published : 2015

Each year, Kolkata s Durga Puja scales new heights as the most spectacular and extravagant event in the city s calendar. From the turn of the twenty-first century, the festival has taken on a particular artistic dispensation that is unique to the contemporary city, demanding a new order of attention and analysis. Based on field-research conducted between 2002 and 2012, this book unravels the anatomy of this newly-congured art event, by tracking the new production processes, the mounting trends of publicity and sponsorship as well as the practices of mass spectatorship that make for the transformed visual culture of the festival. This new visual aesthetic, it is argued, has become the most important marker of the rapidly mutating identity of today s Durga Puja in Kolkata, bringing into the fray new categories of artists and designers, new genres of public art, and new spaces for art production and reception in the city. The book s central concern lies in conceptualizing a specically contemporary and artistic history of the urban festival. In keeping with its title, the book examines the diversity of images and practices from the consumerist spectacle and the bonanza of awards to the efflorescence of public installations and art and craft productions that unfurls in this season in the name of the goddess . While proling the Durga Pujas as Kolkata s biggest public art event, the book also addresses the ambivalence of the designations of art and artist in this eld of production and viewership. One of the main aims of this study has been to lay open the claims of art in this festival both as a set of insistent projections as well as a mesh of incomplete formations. The new artistic nomenclature of the festival, it is shown, is not easily secured and has to struggle to assert itself within the body of the religious event and the ephemeral mass spectacle.





Author Bio:

Tapati Guha-Thakurta is Professor in History and currently the Director of the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta (CSSSC). Her two main books are The Making of a New Indian Art: Artists, Aesthetics and Nationalism in Bengal, Cambridge University Press, 1992, and Monuments, Objects, Histories: Institutions of Art in Colonial and Postcolonial India, Columbia University Press and Permanent Black, 2004. She is also the author of several articles on the art and cultural history of modern India, and exhibition monographs.

This book was added to South Asia bookstore on Thursday 13 August, 2015.
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