GALERIE PASCASSIO MANFREDI KING SIZE

ETHNOFLORENCE

INDIAN AND HIMALAYAN

FOLK AND TRIBAL ARTS

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2008-2016

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N. 814

GALERIE

PASCASSIO MANFREDI

KING SIZE

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SALON INTERNATIONAL

DES ARTS PREMIERS

PARCOURS DES MONDES

2014

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 http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/parcours-des-mondes-2…A

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PHOTO COURTESY

OF

Mr

SAM SINGER

SAN FRACISCO

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 East of the Wallace Line

 

Monumental Art

 

from

 

Indonesia and New Guinea

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Yale University Art Gallery

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SEE THE EXHIBITION

HERE

http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/archive/2014/08/25/east-of-the-wallace-line-monumental-art-from-indonesia-and-n-8265189.html

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Galerie Pecci Parcours des Mondes 2014

ETHNOFLORENCE

N. 813

GALERIE

JOAQUIN PECCI

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SALON INTERNATIONAL

DES ARTS PREMIERS

PARCOURS DES MONDES

2014

http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/parcours-des-mondes-2…A

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Photo courtesy of

David van Der Elst Bruxelles

Sam Singer San Fracisco

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Folk Beliefs Days 2014
 
MASKS AND METAMORPHOSIS
 

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International Conference

Friday 3rd of October 10:00-18:00
Saturday 4th of October 10:00-12:00

Theatre Academy Helsinki Teatterikorkeakoulu (TEAK)
Address: Haapaniemenkatu 6, Helsinki
Hall: Auditorium
FREE ENTRANCE

Organization: Society for Northern Ethnography, TEAK, University of Helsinki,
Teatteri Metamorfoosi, MasQue Festival

Information
vesa.piludu@helsinki.fi

PROGRAM AND SCHEDULES

FRIDAY 3rd of OCTOBER 2014

MORNING SECTION:
Masks and Metamorphosis in Italy 10:00–12:00

10:00 – 10:10 Opening

10:10 – 10:40 DAVIDE GIOVANZANA (TEAK, TEATTERI METAMORFOOSI)
MASKS AND RITUALS: THE EXAMPLE OF COMMEDIA DELL’ARTE

The lecture emphasizes the anthropological background of the Italian theatre tradition of Commedia dell’Arte. It explores the agrarian ritualistic origin of the genre and points out their repercussion in the dramaturgical structure and aesthetic of the Commedia dell’Arte.

Davide Giovanzana is a theatre director and an actor trained in physical theatre, with a special focus on mask theatre. He has worked, as actor, theatre director and pedagogue in several countries with different theatres ad theatre academies. He is currently enrolled in the doctoral program of artistic research at the theatre academy of Helsinki. The subject of his doctoral research investigates the phenomenon of play within the play and the dimension of the self-representation. In 2006 he has founded the theatre company Metamorfoosi, based in Helsinki, and since 2012 he collaborates with the Finnish-German multidisciplinary group Periskop.

10:50 – 10:50 Questions and discussion

10:50 – 11:50 CATERINA AGUS (keynote-speaker, University of Turin):
SEMEL IN ANNO LICET INSANIRE: RITUALS AND MASKS IN WESTERN ALPS

Among the alpine winter manifestations of the agrarian year, some ancient rituals are held to secure prosperity and good harvest. Masked parades are striking examples of these activities. In these performances some standard situations and characters are brought into play. Among these, there are the representation of a mock nuptial cortege, the occurrence of the “bear” and the bear-chase, the representation of ploughing, the appearance of a seer-healer who have the ability to deal with a specific disease, the trial and sentencing to death of a crucial figure which is often identified with “Carnival” himself. Masks are an essential part of the carnival costume. They represent the dichotomy of everything earthly: masks are used with the purpose of waking, activating, stimulating and increasing the creative forces of life and conversely to warding off evil spirits. The ritual use of mask derives from a concept of magical transformation: through the mask, the ritual performer changes his physical form to enter the world of the spirit. The mask is the symbol of all metamorphoses: in this sense, the rites of Carnival and the Commedia dell’Arte reveal similar action and similar characters, cast in very similar original patterns. In order to understand this, it is therefore necessary begin to fit together the pieces of the jigsaw and form a coherent picture.

In 2012 Caterina Agus obtained her Master’s degree in Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology from the Department of Cultures, Politics and Society of Turin University. Her thesis focused on the carnival figure of the bear in the Western Alps and on the traditions related to it. Her research interests include the field of carnival rites, customs and masquerades, ritual object and folk festivals. In 2013 she won a research grant for a project about the history of early Christianity in Western Alps. This research received support from the following entities: Fondazione Giovanni Goria and Associazione Culturale Jonas. She wrote articles on cultural history and took part in international scientific conferences in Italy and Finland.

11:50 – 12:00  Questions and discussions

12 AM – 14:00 Lunch break

AFTERNOON SECTIONS 14:00 – 18:00

Section I: Masks and Metamorphosis in the Native American Tradition 14:00 – 16:00

14:00 – 15:00 ENRICO COMBA (keynote speaker, University of Turin)
MASKED ANIMALS: TRANSFORMATION AND REPRESENTATION IN NATIVE NORTH AMERICAN WORLDVIEW

In Amerindian cosmologies, animals are seen as beings composed of an internal form: the “soul” or “spirit” of the animal, and an outer body, analogous to an animal mask. Thus, the act of wearing an animal mask is not simply a form of disguise, but the actual transformation of the human being into the animal that is represented by the mask. Some elements of a conception very similar to this one can be recognized in documents regarding the European masquerades in the Middle Ages.

Enrico Comba is Associate Professor of Anthropology of Religions in the Department of Cultures, Politics and Society of the University of Turin, Italy.  His main research interest are the anthropology of religions, with particular emphasis on Native North American Religions and Shamanism. Among his last publications: “Mixed Human-Animal Representations in Palaeolithic Art: an Anthropological Perspective”, in Jean Clotte (sous la dir. de), L’art pléistocène dans le monde, Tarascon-sur-Ariège: Société Préhistorique Ariège-Pyrénées (2012) and “Amerindian Cosmologies and European Prehistoric Cave Art: Reasons for and Usefulness of a Comparison”, Arts, 3 (2014).

15:00-15:10  Discussion and questions

15:10-15:40
MARK SHACKLETON
(University of Helsinki):
THE SHAPE-SHIFTING TRICKSTERS AND NATIVE NORTH AMERICAN WRITING

The Native North American Trickster figure has been an inspiration to contemporary Native American and First Nations drama, fiction and poetry. The strength of this figure lies in its roots traditional aboriginal storytelling combined with its multiple contemporary implications. The presentation will attempt to account for the continuing relevance of the Trickster figure in contemporary Native North American writing, with particular emphasis on the work of the Toronto-based Native Earth Performing Arts theatre group.

Mark Shackleton is currently University Lecturer and Docent (Adjunct Professor) at the Department of Modern Languages (English Philology), University of Helsinki, Finland. He is the author of Moving Outward. The Development of Charles Olson’s Use of Myth (1993) and has edited a number of volumes on North American studies including Migration, Preservation and Change (1999), Roots and Renewal (2001), and First and Other Nations (2005). He has published widely on Native North American writing, including articles on Tomson Highway, Thomas King, Monique Mojica, Gerald Vizenor, Louise Erdrich
, and Simon J. Ortiz. Recent publications include Diasporic Literature and Theory: Where Now? (ed. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008) and Canada: Images of a Post/National Society (edited with Gunilla Florby & Katri Suhonen, Peter Lang, 2009).

15:40-15:50 Questions and discussions

15:50-16:10 Coffee break

Section II: MASKS AND METAMORPHOSIS IN CONTEMPORARY THEATRE

16:10-16:50 TANJA ELORANTA (Teatteri Höyhentämö, Teatteri Metamorfoosi):
A PRACTICAL VIEWPOINT TO CONTEMPORARY MASK THEATRE
THROUGHT CASE EXAMPLES

I will speach on my recent works with masks: Diva and the Mechanical Heart (2011) and Kasvokoje (Praxes Itinérantes – III osa) (2014). Both of these performances are contemporary examples of masks on stage. I try to describe the background and the use of masks in these two very different productions.

Tanja Eloranta is a dancer, actor, choreographer and director. She got her MA degree (Dance) at the Theatre Academy Helsinki in 2011. She worked in several production for Dance company Liisa Nojonen, Pori Theatre, Turku Art Academy, Teatteri Metamorfoosi, Theatre Academy Helsinki, Clowns Without Borders, Teatteri Metamorfoosi, Theatre Naamio ja Höyhen, Höyhentämö.  

16:50-17:00 Questions and discussion

17:00 – 17:40 MAX BREMER (Teatteri Universum, Venus-Teatteri, Teater Mars, Svenska Teater, Stjärnfall)
TRANCE-MASKS / PART 2

17:40 – 18:00 Final questions and discussion

SATURDAY 4th of OCTOBER

MORNING SECTIONS 10:00 – 12:15

Section 1: METAMORPHOSIS AND MASKS IN FINNO-UGRIC TRADITIONS

10:00-10:30 VESA MATTEO PILUDU (University of Helsinki):
DRAMA AND MASKS IN FINNIC AND KHANTY RITUALS OF THE BEAR HUNT

The Finno-Karelian rite of the bear hunt has been described by several scholars as a long “ritual drama”, where the hunters were performing a long “ritual opera”, singing traditional runo-songs for the invisible public of the forest spirits (metsänhaltijat). In the songs were described, with theatrical fantasy, several role-changes: the hunters became the “lovers of the forest maidens or spirits” and the bear itself was considered a “maiden that oversleep” before its kill and “a male host of the village” after the kill. The bear head and skull had a also a singular “mask role” in the banquet and the final procession. In the bear ritual of the Khanty (Ugric people from western Siberia) were performed bear dances with bear mask. Also other masks – some of these indeed comical –  were present in the final part of the rites.

Vesa Matteo Piludu is a Finnish-Italian teacher and PhD-student who gives courses on Comparative Religion, Semiotics of Arts, and cultural studies in Musicology at the University of Helsinki since 2006. The focus of many of his courses has been the relations between myths, rituals, folk beliefs, popular legends, music and arts. In Italy he gave courses and guest lectures on music and myths at the the University La Sapienza of Rome, the University of Turin, The Centre for Brazilian Studies of Rome, the Conservatory Santa Cecilia of Rome, the Conservatory Pergolesi of Fermo, the Foundation Santa Cecilia of Portogruaro. He is actually writing his PhD thesis on Finnic bear rituals. Vice-President of the Society for Northern Ethnography.

10:30-11:00 KONSTA KAIKKONEN (University of Helsinki):
PERSONIFICATION OF NATURE AND ITS CHANGE IN HISTORICAL SAAMI CULTURE

In historical texts concerning traditional Saami (Lapp) culture the border between man and nature seems more unclear the further we go back in time. It seems that a gradual religious change from Saami indigenous religion to Christianity had an impact on the ways nature was personified by Saami societies and the individuals. Some traditional beliefs and attitudes lived side by side with the official Christian teachings; while divisions between man and animal as well as culture and nature are visible in the “official” Christian doctrine, old beliefs seem to have lived on in secrecy and manifest in for example folk tales concerning metamorphosis. A wide variety of factors contributed to these changes on several levels, and I argue they can be analyses by a critical application of different theoretical viewpoints.

Konsta Kaikkonen graduated at the University of Helsinki with the MA-Thesis: “Personhood and religious change among the Saami: reviewing historical texts”.

11:00 – 11:30 RISTO PULKKINEN (University of Helsinki):
OF MEN AND WOLVES: MAGIC AND METAMORPHOSIS IN THE NORTH

The border between man and animal has been very thin in traditional Northern societies, like the Saami (Lapp). In my presentation I am going to discuss both shamanic metamorphoses between shamans and their zoomorphic assistant spirits, voluntary and magical transformations of people into a wolf or a bear, as well as involuntary transformations among the common folk.

Risto Pulkkinen is adjunct professor (Docent) and senior lecturer in Comparative Religion in the University of Helsinki and adjunct professor in Northern Ethnography at the University of Lapland. He is specialized in  Northern folk religions. He wrote the monograph “Suomalainen kansanusko samaaneista saunatonttuihin” “Finnish Folk Religion from Shamans to House Spirits”(2014) and he has co-edited the book “The Saami. A Cultural Encyclopaedia” (2005). President of the Society for Northern Ethnography.

11:30-11:45 BOOK PRESENTATION
Presentation of the new book: Suomalainen kansanusko samaaneista saunatonttuihin (2014); “Finnish Folk Religion from Shamans to House Spirits” by Risto Pulkkinen.

Section 2: MASK IN ASIAN TRADITIONS

11:45-12:15 ANDREY TISCHENKO: “Traditional Masks in Nepal”

Presentation of traditional Nepalese masks of Tischenko collection. Questions and discussion.

Andrey Tischenko is a collector of ethnic art and owner of the Tischenko Gallery in Helsinki.

Social Program in the afternoon:

14:00 – 17:00 Tour of the Mask and Puppet theater collections of the Museum of Theatre.

17:00 – 19:00

TOUR OF THE EXHIBITION “TRADITIONAL ART OF PAPUA NEW GUINEA” at the
Tischenko Gallery
(Fredrikinkatu 64, Helsinki).
Refreshment.


 

 

David Serra Gallery Ghurras du Nepal Parcours des Mondes 2014

 ETHNOFLORENCE

INDIAN AND HIMALAYAN

FOLK AND TRIBAL ARTS

2008 – 2016

N. 811

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GHURRAS DU NEPAL

DAVID SERRA

ART TRIBAL

 

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SALON INTERNATIONAL

DES ARTS PREMIERS

PARCOURS DES MONDES

http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/parcours-des-mondes-2014/

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PARIS

SAINT GERMAIN DES PRES

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PHOTO COURTESY OF

Mr SAM SINGER

 

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Photo

Mr SAM SINGER

Courtesy of David Serra Gallery

All rights reserved

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http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/parcours-des-mondes-2014/

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SALON INTERNATIONAL PARCOURS DES MONDES 2014

 ETHNOFLORENCE

INDIAN AND HIMALAYAN 

FOLK AND TRIBAL ARTS

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Photo credit Frédéric Moisan & Hervé Perdriolle

no. 810

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SALON INTERNATIONAL

DES ARTS PREMIERS

PARCOURS DES MONDES

http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/parcours-des-mondes-2014/

9 AU 14 SEPTEMBRE

PARIS

SAINT GERMAIN DES PRES

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PHOTO COURTESY OF

DAVID VAN DER ELST

http://tribalsculpturesfromnepal.skynetblogs.be/

without whose kind cooperation this post would not have been possible

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INDIAN HERITAGE

GALLERY

 

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ART

FROM THE ABODE

OF SNOW

http://www.indianheritage.biz/files/PDM2014.pdf

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EXPOSE CHEZ OLIVER VANUXEM
54 RUE MAZARINE

 

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Photo David Van der Elst

Courtesy of Frederic Rond

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GALERIE LE TOIT DU MONDE

http://letoitdumonde.net/

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Une exposition de photographies et d’objets rituels chamanique nepalais se tient a la galerie du 9 au 25 septembre 2014

(13h-19h)

 

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Photo David Van der Elst

Courtesy of Francois Pannier

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GALERIE DAVID SERRA
Ghurras du Nepal
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Expose chez Galerie Marie-Laure
de l’Ecotais
49 rue de Seine
 
 

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Photo David Van der Elst

Courtesy of 

David Serra and Isabelle Chandon

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Galerie

Frédéric Moisan et Hervé Perdriolle

Trajectoires VI

 

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Art Tribal Contemporain Indien

Résident, 72 rue Mazarine

L’art tribal indien émerge sur la scène internationale. En Inde, la place des aborigènes n’est plus au Musée de l’homme, dans ces reconstitutions où les mannequins en cire, vêtus de costumes traditionnels, sont assis autour du feu devant leurs maisons traditionnelles. Les voici désormais au-devant de la scène artistique contemporaine indienne, avec des œuvres qui se vendent dans les galeries d’art et les musées du monde entier. La voix des populations tribales indiennes, longtemps étouffée, renaît grâce à la peinture.” 

Le Monde 17 février 2011  

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Photo  David Van der Elst

Courtsy of 

Frédéric Moisan & Hervé Perdriolle

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Tribal Art London The New Show 10-13 sept 2014

ETHNOFLORENCE

INDIAN AND HIMALAYAN

FOLK AND TRIBAL ARTS

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2008 – 2016

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TRIBAL ART LONDON

AFRICAN OCEANIC ASIAN

10-13 SEPTEMBER 2014

http://tribalartlondon.com/

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Exhibitors

Adam Prout, Bryan Reeves, Louis Nierijnck, Charles Vernon-Hunt books, Tribal Art Magazine,

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Joss Graham, Michael Backman Ltd, Owen Hargreaves & Jasmine Dahl, Lisa Tao & Reuven Reubens,  

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Kapil Jariwala Gallery, Kamba Gallery, Clive Loveless, Rob Temple, David Malik, Hali Magazine

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Photo credit of Tribal Art London

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For the arts of the Himalayas

is present in London

PRIMITIVEART

NL

KARAVANSERAI

Louis Nierijnck

http://www.primitiveart.nl/

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Photo courtesy of

Louis Nierijnck

http://tribalartlondon.com/?page_id=1109

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MAP

MUSEO ARTI PRIMARIE

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TRIBALEGLOBALE

GIULIANO ARNALDI

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NEPALESE MASKS

COLLECTION

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NEPALESE FUNGUS MASK

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MASCARADES EN HIMALAYA LES VERTUS DU RIRE

ETHNOFLORENCE

N.808

MASCARADES EN HIMALAYA
LES VERTUS DU RIRE

A l’occasion de l’événement

” Parcours des mondes 2014 “,

la librairie Fischbacher recevra Gisèle Krauskopff qui dédicacera l’ouvrage écrit avec
Pascale Dollfus

” Mascarades en Himalaya.

Les vertus du rire ”

le mercredi 10 septembre de 17h. à 18h. 30 au 33, rue de Seine 75006 Paris.

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ISBN 978-2-86805-149-3

http://www.librairiefischbacher.fr/himalaya/11909-mascarades-en-himalaya-les-vertus-du-rire-9782868051493.html

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Squelettes joyeux et cadavres levés, vieux grivois et vieilles femmes enceintes, bouffons à la virilité exacerbée et ascètes ridicules,
rites d’exorcisme et comiques de théâtre, cet ouvrage écrit à quatre mains accorde à ces performances masquées ou grimées l’attention
qu’elles méritent. Peut-on en effet comprendre les fêtes et les rituels de l’Himalaya en occultant les mascarades, les charivaris et
les scènes grotesques qui, si souvent, les accompagnent et leur donnent sens ?
Le rire n’a jamais fait l’objet d’aucune étude approfondie dans cette région du monde. En l’écartant, c’est tout un pan important des
traditions de la vie en Himalaya qui a été négligé.
Des hautes vallées du Ladakh situées aux confins du Tibet jusqu’aux plaines reculées de l’Assam, des villages méconnus de l’Arunachal
Pradesh aux bazars du Népal, les mascarades et leurs masques, trop souvent associés à de simples divertissements, sont des objets-frontières
qui révèlent les vertus insoupçonnées de la dérision et de l’obscénité.

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Indian Heritage Gallery Parcours des Mondes Paris 2014

ETHNOFLORENCE

N.807

*

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SALON INTERNATIONAL

DES ARTS PREMIERS

PARCOURS DES MONDES

9 AU 14 SEPTEMBRE

PARIS

SAINT GERMAIN DES PRES

*

INDIAN HERITAGE

GALLERY

*

ART

FROM THE ABODE

OF SNOW

http://www.indianheritage.biz/files/PDM2014.pdf

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EXPOSE CHES OLIVER VANUXEM
54 RUE MAZARINE

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Etablie en 2006 par Frédéric Rond, Indian Heritage est une galerie spécialisée dans les arts de l’Inde et de l’Himalaya. Située au cœur de Paris, dans l’île Saint-Louis, elle offre un large éventail de pièces primitives et classiques avec un intérêt particulier porté aux masques d’Asie du Sud.

 

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La galerie participe aussi à Paris Tribal et Asian Art in Brussels.

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 24 rue Saint Louis en l’Île, 75004 Paris.

France

http://www.indianheritage.biz

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PHOTO AND TEXT COURTESY

OF

INDIAN HERITAGE GALLERY

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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Trois Chamans Galerie Le toit du Monde & Nepalese shamanic Art in Venice until 23 nov 2014

ETHNOFLORENCE

INDIAN AND HIMALAYAN

FOLK AND TRIBAL ART

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2008 – 2016

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GALERIE LE TOIT DU MONDE

http://letoitdumonde.net/

Aurore Laurent & Adriel Viel

presentent et dedicacent leur livre

TROIS CHAMANS

9 & 13 septembre

de 15h a 19h

Galerie Le Toit  du Monde

6 rue Visconti 75006 Paris

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Une exposition de photographies et d’objets rituels chamanique nepalais se tient a la galerie du 9 au 25 septembre 2014

(13h-19h)

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ICI – Magazzino del Caffe’ – ICI Venice
NEPALESE SHAMANIC ART 

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UNTIL

23 NOVEMBER 2014

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Dynamorph Instalation

by

ORPROJECT Architects

for

ICI

International Cultural Institute

Photo and Text credit

http://www.icivenice.com/

&

http://www.renzofreschi.com/

http://www.letoitdumonde.net/index.php/agenda

 

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During the time of the Architectural Biennale 2014, named Fundamentals, aimed by the idea of questioning about globalization and fading of national characteristics; ICI – Istituto Culturale Internazionale choose to set its exhibition at the origins of relationship between man and its environment.

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The exhibition NEPALESE SHAMANIC ART calls indirectly for globalization, leading us to promote identity, ecology, sustainable development.

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The exhibition is nestled in the installation DYNAMORPH by ORPROJECT architects based in London, Delhi and Beijing.

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The exhibition DYNAMORPH design for the International Cultural Institute’s exhibition Shamanism in Venice has beendeveloped as an energy field around the exhibits. These exhibits act as centers of gravitational forces that pull the volume of the room to form Dynamorph. Positioned between the exhibits and the room, Dynamorph is an isosurface which encloses the visitors and forms a mystical cave to house the exhibits and the movements of the visitor. The surface is a materialization of the ethereal interactions between the visitors and the exhibits, the branching and flowing geometry of the surface evokes the roots, trunk and branches that symbolize the the three worlds of Shamanism.

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The visitors enter the force-field of the exhibits and are guided in their journey by the physical installation. Made up of over three thousand individual segments, the tessellated geometry resembles mass and movements – similar to the trajectory of planetary mass under the influence of stars or black holes, formation of cumulonimbus clouds guided by pressure and temperature variations and winds or the interaction between electromagnetic fields and subatomic particles. In Dynamorph, the exhibits are the energy points of the exhibition, the visitors move under their influence, and the surface is a physical manifestation of both. 

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More information

here

http://ethnoflorence.skynetblogs.be/renzo-freschi-ici-venice/

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Art chamanique népalais

2007

Exhibition

Photo Sanza Francois

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see more here

http://sanza.skynetblogs.be/archive/2007/12/13/masques-arts-tribaux-himalayens-tribal-art-tribal-serie-2-2.html

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Sculpted Sound – Stringed Instruments from India 5 September 2014 – 9 August 2015

ETHNOFLORENCE

INDIAN AND HIMALAYAN

FOLK AND TRIBAL ARTS

2008 – 2016

no. 805

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RIETBERG MUSEUM

Sculpted Sound – Stringed Instruments from India
5 September 2014 – 9 August 2015

http://www.rietberg.ch/en-gb/exhibitions/sculpted-sound.aspx

 

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In November 2013, the Museum Rietberg acquired a large collection of Indian stringed instruments from a private collector in Germany.

 

 

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This exhibition will feature approximately eighty of the most beautiful instruments from this collection. Intricately made, they are all roughly one hundred years old, while some are even slightly older.


In an article titled “The Musical Migrant” of 10 November 2013, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported the transfer of one of the most important collections of Indian instruments from Rüsselsheim in Germany to the Museum Rietberg.

 

The museum was able to purchase part of the collection using funds from the Rietberg Circle, while the rest was a gift from the German owner and collector, Bengt Fosshag, a successful illustrator and graphic designer who had amassed this extraordinary collection in the course of decades and was seeking a permanent home for it.


Asked about his history as a collector, Fosshag says that it was a sarinda, a lute from Lahore, that prompted him to begin accumulating literature about these exotic stringed instruments in the 1960s.

 

An exhibition of non-European musical instruments at the Münchner Stadtmuseum acquired from a private collection subsequently inspired him to begin collecting similar instruments himself.

 

He purchased stringed instruments in Turkey and Morocco, while a friend brought him a tar (long-necked lute) and a dulcimer from Iran.


Over the course of many years, he accumulated one of the most important collections of lutes in Europe.

 

Bengt Fosshag gradually shifted his focus from pieces that were purely musical instruments to “lute sculptures” from India, Nepal, and Afghanistan. For the 1996 exhibition “Mit Haut und Haar”, he donated the majority of his collection to the Linden-Museum and subsequently concentrated on the dhodro banam lutes of the East Indian Santal people and on the Nepalese damyen, amassing a fabulous collection that now not only enlarges the department of Indian art at the Museum Rietberg, but also adds an entirely new theme to it.

 

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The Bengt Fosshag Collection
The collection consists of ninety-two instruments, all but nine of which come from India and Nepal. Most of them were built at the beginning or during the first half of the twentieth century. However, precise information about their manufacture, origin, and use is lacking.

 

The most striking instruments in the collection originate from the Santal culture, a tribal community in India.


Among the instrumental sculptures, the dhodro banam (“hollow instrument”) and huka banam (“coconut instrument”) are the most spectacular items. Both types have almost vanished today and are inexorably supplanted by more modern instruments – a development related to the integration of the Santal into Indian society.

 

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The dhodro banam is made of a single piece of wood, which is divided into four equal pieces. The craftsman begins by hollowing out the belly in an oval shape, followed by the chest. The neck is straight and ends in a head, the lower part of which has a hole to receive the string. The dhodro banam player holds the instrument vertically with its neck pointing upwards and the playing hand above the bow hand.


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The huka banam looks similar, but is held the other way around: its neck points downwards while resting against the player’s chest and the bow hand above the playing hand. Additionally, the huka banam has no tuning peg; the string is knotted to the instrument’s neck.


The Santal People
India is home to an estimated six to ten million Santal (also known as Santhal, Sontal or Sonthal) who represent the largest indigenous population group recognised as a “tribe” in India.

 

Most Santal live in rural areas in the states of Jharkhand, West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, and Assam, with additional small groups in neighbouring Bangladesh and Nepal.


They speak their own language, Santali, a member of the Munda subfamily of Austroasiatic languages, which is more closely related to the languages of Southeast Asia than to the major Indian languages.

 

Santali uses both the Latin alphabet and various Indian scripts. The majority of the Santal in West Bengal and adjacent territories make their living in agriculture, although some work in the mines or as day labourers.


Despite the increasing Hinduisation and Christianisation of India, the Santal have their own highest deity (Thakur or Chando) as well as other deities (Bonga), but these have neither holy places nor images.

 

Their myths of origin and their social structure too are unique, differing from those of the Indian caste society. Additionally, the self-assured demeanour of Santal women defies the social conventions of rural India, since they not only take part in cultural life, but also choose their own life partners.


Music is an important part of Santal culture and can be heard everywhere both in everyday life and on festive occasions.

 

The Santal are gifted and passionate dancers and musicians and most of their songs and dances are related to various seasons and phases of life. During the Baha blossom festival in spring, it is the custom to invite everyone present to join in the singing and dancing. Transverse flutes made of bamboo are ubiquitous, and at large festivals, iron kettle drums beat to invite neighbouring communities to join in.


Myths of Origin
The following legend describes the birth of the dhodro banam: Once upon a time there were seven brothers who lived with their sister. One day the sister cut her finger, and the blood ran down onto the vegetables she was preparing. The brothers found the meal to be tasty and thought that if her blood alone was so delicious, her flesh would be even more so. So they decided to kill their sister and eat her.

 

Only the youngest brother did not want to eat of her flesh and hid his portion in an anthill.

After some time, a large tree grew on the spot with blossoms that gave off a wondrous sound.


One day, a wandering yogi came by and heard this beautiful sound.

 

He marvelled at it and decided to cut a branch from the tree. From the wood he carved the instrument that is called dhodro banam today.


A similar legend tells of the origins of the huka banam.


Once there were seven brothers who killed and ate their sister. The youngest brother would not touch his portion, but buried it in a spot from which, later, a melodiously sounding tree began to grow. A wandering yogi made a musical instrument from one branch of the melodious tree.


One day, without knowing it, the yogi arrived in the village where the seven brothers lived. He went begging from door to door and asked for rice. When he came to the house where the brothers lived, his instrument began to sing: “… this one belongs to sinners …” When the brothers heard the song of the instrument they were greatly afraid, for its sound was like their sister’s voice.


So they invited the yogi into their house.

In secret they made a copy of the instrument and exchanged the two instruments without the yogi’s knowledge. Then they threw the yogi out of their home on the pretext that he had made their house dirty.


Exhibition


The title “Sculpted Sound” expresses the important relationship between the body, the music, and the musical instrument.

The instruments are presented in settings that enhance their aura as resonant sculptures. The exhibition designers were concerned less with creating a conspectus of the instruments in the collection than with staging a presentation that frees them from the rigid confines of
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the display case, preferring to suspend them from strings that allow them to float in space like musical notes or weightless sounds.

In this way, the visitor’s eye is directed towards the imaginative carvings and unusual shapes of the instruments and towards the innovative interplay of their parts, all of which reflect the creativity of their builders.


“Sculpted Sound” is the first special exhibition at Museum Rietberg that will run for almost a year. This will allow enough time for such activities as a collaboration with the National Handicrafts and Handlooms Museum in New Delhi, India, which will involve several working visits by Indian researchers to Zurich as well as the publication of an expanded English version of the catalogue.

The purpose of this collaboration is to acquire more information about the cultural, historical, and art history background of the instruments on display here.

Without the help and close cooperation of Indian museum staff as well as field research in India, it would be impossible to locate individual instrument builders and their workshops or to interpret the iconographic details.

Thus a scientific study of the Fosshag Collection has yet to be carried out and the present publication and the exhibition represent important preliminary steps on the road to a deeper understanding of these instruments.

The exhibition will also be accompanied by a number of events, workshops, concerts, and lectures.
Catalogue in German
Klang / Körper – Saiteninstrumente aus Indien, Hrsg. Johannes Beltz, Marie Eve Celio, Museum Rietberg Zürich. Mit Beiträgen von Marie Eve Celio, Bengt Fosshag, Albert Lutz, Ludwig Pesch. Broschur, Fadenheftung, 80 S., über 90 Abb. (farbig), 23 x 30 cm. ISBN 978-3-907077-54-2.
Verkaufspreis während der Ausstellung: CHF 28 | 23 EUR, erscheint im September 2014.
Guided Tours and Workshops


Public guided tours in German: every Saturday, 2 p.m.
Private tours (German, French, or English): please call +41 44 415 31 31
For workshops (in German) for public audiences and schools, visit www.rietberg.ch/kunstvermittlung.
Exhibition Credits
Exhibition Curator
Dr. Johannes Beltz (director)
Dr. Marie Eve Celio Scheurer (assistant)
Exhibition design
Martin Sollberger
Installations
Walter Frei
Jean Claude Plattner
Marc Zünd
Lighting
Rainer Wolfsberger
Multimedia
Masus Meier
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Graphic Design (exhibition)
Jacqueline Schöb (director)
Stefanie Beilstein (intern)
Graphic Design (print products)
Raffinerie AG für Gestaltung
Graphic Design (catalogue)
Thomas Röder
Exhibition Text Editor
Karin Schneuwly
Translations (songs and exhibition texts)
Martin Kämpchen
Peter Pannke
Marie Eve Celio Scheurer
Melanie Newton / Tradukas GbR
Art Education
Caroline Spicker (director)
Maya Bührer
Vera Fischer
Christiane Ruzek
Gabriel Studerus
Guided Tours
Gabriela Kamp
Sylvia Seibold
Marketing & Communications
Christine Ginsberg (director)
Ursina Wirz
Monica Stocker
Andrina Sarott (intern)
Events
Caroline Delley
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Information and Contact
Downloadable information (text and images) at www.rietberg.ch/press
Museum Rietberg Zürich
Gablerstrasse 15
CH-8002 Zürich
T. + 41 44 415 31 31, Infoline: T. + 41 44 415 31 00
F. + 41 44 415 31 32
museum.rietberg@zuerich.ch
www.rietberg.ch
Opening hours
Tue–Sun 10–17h
Wed 10–20h
Entrance fees
Adults: CHF 18 | discounted: CHF 14
Admission free for children and adolescents 16 and under
How to find us
Tram no. 7 (direction Wollishofen) to the “Museum Rietberg” stop (four stops from Paradeplatz). No onsite parking; parking for disabled persons available.

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