This book acts as a fabrication to the voices Rekha Menon hears in the United States as a foreign worker, a professor teaching art history.
Author: Rekha Menon
Publisher: Hampton Press (NJ)
The Other was reclothed, dressed in moral attire, then one wonders do I write through my body or does it write itself or do I have a body of my own or is it stolen from me. Seductive Aesthetics of Postcolonialism adroitly refers and relates to aesthetics, gender, money, power, possession, politics, difference, justice, as they are played out on the body of the Other. The body becomes a battleground, especially the body of the Other, where the sadistic utility, pleasures, are pitted against the worldly passions of the Other. This book acts as a fabrication to the voices Rekha Menon hears in the United States as a foreign worker, a professor teaching art history. The voices take the author back to the sear of the British Empire, the in-between space: still, she loves to be in the in-between space, to be the Other. The space allows her to capitalize on it. create a platform, a discourse, an aesthetics of postcolonialism. Being in the in-between space I often question and wonder do I have a choice ... what with the voices that flutter around, ache against the skin, nevertheless today I will say it is a seductive space. Drawing attention to the misrepresentation and reinterpretation of the aesthetics of Indian art, the author poses the in-between seductive space, to bring back the forgotten cosmic essence. Examining aesthetic creations---sensuous, passionate, erotic, immoral. Menon discusses how the neo/post colonial Indians have not changed since the Victorian moral codes and today (how to the Other), what was primitive, barbaric has become trendy, exotic. Dr. Menon's Seductive Aesthetics of Postcolonialism offers a refreshing scent of honesty, about the colonial powers and the many ways that some in India were enamored by the "benefits" of colonialism. Colonial writers, including Indians, reinterpreted Indian art in terms of Western politics, morality and religion, and thus missed the "cosmic essence" of Indian art, pervaded by erotic passions and playful energies. At this level, Menon's book opens a dimension of aesthetic and philosophical studies that provide a catalyst for contemporary Indian artists to create and evaluate their works as ways of recouping the cosmic understanding of Indian tradition. She also indicates how colonial "mentality" is difficult to shed: new aesthetic productions, that dare boldly express their passion for erotic play, are drastically resisted by Indians themselves as "immoral" and an "insult" to Indians. We can only wish that this is not the last work of this kind by Dr. Menon. Algis Mickunas. Professor of Philosophy. Ohio University.