The Pioneer : 2020-09-25

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! ! ! " # $ " $! %!&!" #% #" # ' &! (# "'% ! % " ! % &!") $ !* # +#"' ! ,-.* ( / " "! *#!%") !+ 0 %1 " (! 2 (# '# # '! (# &! # +! % ' &! (# %!+ ! # # " ( # 3 " ! ' ! 4 "# $ ( "' 0 # ! 1! ! / 1 " ! / ! ! % * #" 1!& " ! ! %!" " " " # $ % & " & % "/D%) BE # 2 "/D%) BE E12111 % F 0 " 2 2 2 ! * ! 2 2 ! " " &" " ' "/D%) BE 8 2 ! 2 2 2 ! ) 03 ? . ! ! 2 ) " " &) ""' 5 :G E 3C # 2 # 2 :0 C 9 2 % 4 8 + 7 # 2 % 2 ? ! 2 2 ? 2 ! 2 ) :F 3CE 7 2 + 5 B:2:11 :C2HHE # ! $ 5 # 2 G: + + 2 9 " ! ! 7 ( $ ! / ( 9 2 $ * & T he pandemic has brought the art world to its knees. The silence is ominous and the webinars and online propaganda are somewhat stifling when you think of how suddenly it is only about talking and voices and voices and talking. Amid the many cancellati­ons of fairs, exhibition­s, films, plays, performanc­es and dances globally, we must ask ourselves questions about the value of art and culture at a time when humanity is under great stress. When it is fighting for its very survival as the virus throws up a kind of socio-economic disparity and devastatio­n we have not witnessed in recent times. At a time when people tell us that there are much more important things to worry about in this world than art, one would beg to differ. Art talks to us like nothing else does. It re-awakens our senses and reminds us of the power of imaginatio­n in the face of the death and destructio­n brought upon us by the pandemic. states that though fairs have been cancelled and galleries have closed, the wealthy are still buying. In India it’s difficult to get true stories of buying and selling from art galleries/dealers/consultant­s/artists. The physicalit­y of looking at a work and buying is something that needs to be worked upon. An image does not do justice to a work of art. Perhaps private appointmen­ts by clients are the way to go in the new pandemic scenario. But there are hectic announceme­nts of online shows and galleries coming together to host prized possession­s on the internet and social media. Some galleries are stating that they have a few sales but it’s not as much as they would like in a stagnant market. In the West, a report of 795 galleries representi­ng 60 different national markets, called written by the cultural economist Clare McAndrew, is the first major survey of how the contagion has hit art dealers globally. Until sales statistics are shared by galleries all over India, it’s difficult to add a percentage of propensity to the real figures. But one scene that has remained buoyant is that of online auctions. $6. $ 5 $86. 9$7/ 0/ 9-9$ 7-9-7- /3$ 0-:/ - # /- 89/ 8 9-; $6 8 /6$6# 0/$ . -"/. 8 -. 3-6; .898 .082. -. 8..$,9/ 8 9$( 0/ - 76/.. $6 0/ 28 9 8( 0/ 986/9; - $. 2-$ $6# $6 0/ 2$6#. 0/ $6 $$6 / 6- $86-9 "/6 / -6 -$(-". 8 ;/83-6). ./ :$"/ (8 0/ - . ,$# - $. .% 88% 6// 8 #/ 85 8( 0/$ "8"886. -6 0/9 8 0/ . $6 6// The New York Times Saffronart’s success: others has been that of the great artist Bansky. The British street artist financed a boat to rescue refugees attempting to reach Europe from north Africa. The vessel, named after a French feminist anarchist, set off in secrecy on August 18 from the Spanish port of Burriana, near Valencia, and was in the central Mediterran­ean Sea, where on August 30 it rescued 89 people, including 14 women and four children. It was looking for a safe port to disembark the passengers or to transfer them to a European coast guard vessel. Since setting off from Burriana, the boat, registered in Germany and manned by a crew of activists from across Europe led by Pia Klemp, rescued more than 150 people off the coast of Libya. The majority of the passengers were transferre­d to a larger rescue vessel a few days ago, after European authoritie­s appeared to ignore Mayday calls from the which had become too overloaded to steer. The survivors finally arrived in the port of Palermo, Sicily. Underscori­ng the hypocrisy of government­s shouting out for racial equality while simultaneo­usly taking a hardline anti- immigratio­n stance, Banksy’s video of the rescue mission, posted on Instagram, concluded with the words: “All Black Lives Matter.” Perhaps in a blanket equation of everyone in the world, we could tweak it to say “All Lives Matter.” Maybe the virtual world is here to stay until the virus is tackled with a vaccine that says: “Get thee behind me.” ( materials. Questions arise as to how they are eking out their living. The buyer’s market is not so well laid out. Galleries have their own list of collectors and buyers but it is only establishe­d artists who can share in that bouquet of well-being. One of the greatest contributi­ons to an artist’s life can be through corporate houses, hotels, Government and private offices and complexes that can use art works and help artists to thrive in a market that has fallen to the Covid climate. Take for instance Tom Vattakuzhy, a brilliant artist in Kerala who lost out on a historic series of illustrati­ons in the because of a misunderst­anding with the Church. His works echo his solitude. They make everyone empathise with him and stir their inner recesses. Vattakuzhy, a Masters from Shantinike­tan and then Vadodara, is a prime example of a brilliant artist waiting to be shown by a curator, gallery or promoter who will not throw him to the sharks. Let’s face it, the art world thrives on profit margins and cut-throat competitio­n. India needs more institutio­ns and philanthro­pic agencies to help artists all over the country. Institutio­ns like the Lalit Kala Akademi have a great role to play in opening their spaces to as many solo shows as possible to lift the darkness in the world of the lonely artist waiting in the wings. The India Internatio­nal Centre and AIFACS do yeoman’s service for the arts. Big artists, too, need to get out of their cocoons and help others in need. The next auction high was Saffronart’s The highly-anticipate­d online live auction — the first since the pandemic — closed at 88 per cent lots sold, achieving a total sale of 66.4 crore amid enthusiast­ic bidding. The 300th auction in Saffronart’s 20 years, this sale was a unique hybrid experience that allowed bidders from across the globe to participat­e virtually. The sale was led by VS Gaitonde’s masterpiec­e painting of 1974 from the collection of Sabira Merchant, which sold for 35.5 crore, making it the second-highest price achieved for the artist, as well as for a work of Indian art to be sold in an auction worldwide. Among the best works Gaitonde ever produced, this ethereal, luminescen­t work embodies his preoccupat­ion with Zen Buddhism as well as his associatio­ns with the sea. Among the top highlights of the sale were two exquisite works by modernist NS Bendre, including a figurative work from 1971 which sold for 1.56 crore, more than tripling its presale estimate, and an untitled work (possibly a view of Mandu), 1982, which sold for 1.14 crore. Jehangir Sabavala’s “The Cactus Wave”, 2006, sold for 2.63 crore. Evening Sale. Louise Michel The Impact of COVID-19 on the Gallery Sector, Malayala Manorama Pundoles looking West: Pundoles Mumbai ruled the roost the past month with its auction split into two parts, featuring a part of the collection of fish baron Masanari Fukuoka, who decided he wanted Pundoles to handle the sale rather than internatio­nal houses like Christies, Sotheby’s or even Saffronart. With blue chip names on its avant-garde list, the auction threw up some magnificen­t numbers. VS Gaitonde, the abstract master, was top draw. His untitled 1967 work set a new record at 32 crore as the selling hammer price. Two sculptures also set their own highs. The first was a “Bull’s Head” (1998) by Tyeb Mehta, who created this sculpture as his tribute to the trussed bull (he used to hear their heart-wrenching cries when he lived next to a slaughterh­ouse in Mumbai). It sold at a new record of 3.2 crore. The second sculpture was printmaker and sculptor Somnath Hore’s “Goat” (1988) that sold at 65 lakh, a new high for this venerated master. India’s greatest figurative master Jogen Chowdhury’s “The Couple” (1999) sold for 1.7 crore, setting a new record for the 80-year-old Kolkata artist. Looking West Louise Michel, Artists in studios/homes: Across the land in homes, in studios that belong to them as well as others, artists are still pouring out their imaginatio­n. Those who have computers and laptops are busy with Zoom webinars and the like but my heart goes out to artists who have no technology. They continue to be inspired in their own small rooms with minimal media and Black Lives Matter: The writer is a senior art critic and independen­t curator) The most beautiful example of an artist helping & ' maximum missing female births due to the preference for a boy and accounting for almost a third of the total number projected. But girls don’t just go missing at birth. India also has the highest rate of excess girl child deaths at 13.5 per 1,000 births. This critical data suggest post-birth sex selection. An estimated one in nine deaths of girls below the age of five may be attributed to post-birth sex selection, says the UNFPA report. So, while genderbias­ed sex selection accounts for about two-thirds of the total missing girls, post-birth girl child mortality accounts for about one-third. UP lags behind on many indicators of gender equality, including early marriage and crimes against women. If Yogi Adityanath really wants developmen­t, the Chief Minister must make greater investment­s in improving gender indicators. Prejudice against girls can be countered by programmes that focus on engaging boys and instilling values of gender equality in them at an early age. Comprehens­ive sex education in schools could help redefine notions of masculinit­y and foster respect for women. ( girls are less valued than boys in UP, a State that has recorded the most crimes against women in the country. The latest 2018 National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data ranked the State as the worst for women’s security with 59, 443 crimes against them. Incidental­ly, in 2018, the crime rate was the highest for cruelty by husbands and relatives. Although the NCRB data for 2019 has not been released as yet, media reports of crimes against women in UP during the last two years do not inspire confidence in the possibilit­y of any turnaround. But do the rising crimes against women have any bearing on the preference for a son? Yes, says a new study conducted in UP and Haryana. Its objective was to examine discrimina­tion against the girl child and its linkages with the declining child sex ratio and violence against women. The report states that the responsibi­lity of security and maintainin­g the chastity of daughters in the context of rising sexual violence in the country has added to the larger concern of wanting a son. In other words, the increasing crime against women has emerged as yet another factor for augmenting the traditiona­l preference for a son. Supported by the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), the study was conducted by Bijaylaxmi Nanda, Nupur Ray and Ritwika Mukherjee. The preliminar­y findings indicate that perception­s about crime play a pivotal role in the increasing preference for a male child. Thus, as long as women continue to remain insecure in the nation, chances that girls will be unwanted by families will be high. Further, with three out of every 10 women, who had more daughters than sons, reporting that the husband/family members express dissatisfa­ction at the birth of a girl child, the study also reinforces the fact that gender inequality remains at the heart of violence against women in UP. The male offspring is preferred because he is culturally perceived as a protector and provider during the old age of the parents. An earlier study to understand the intrinsic relationsh­ip between masculinit­y, son preference and intimate partner violence came to similar conclusion­s. The 2014 study by the Internatio­nal Centre for Research on Women (ICRW) and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), found that in UP, the two most important reasons for having a son were to carry on the family name and to provide support to parents in their old age. Six years later, as the ICSSR study shows, little seems to have changed on the ground. The ICRW-UNFPA report found that of the seven States studied, UP had the largest proportion of men reporting high control over their intimate partners and the lowest proportion of men displaying gender equitable attitudes. Education is a big tool to engender transforma­tion in beliefs, attitudes and practice. It is an equally important predictor of son-preference attitudes. In UP, the ICRW-UNFPA study found that 55 per cent of men with no education had a high preference for sons compared to 39 per cent of men with graduation or higher degrees. Studies have shown that spouses of men with no or little education are unlikely to have ready access to sexual and reproducti­ve health services. In the Badaun case, the fact that the woman had five children and was pregnant with her sixth child indicates she may have faced barriers in accessing family planning services. The fourth National Family Health Survey (NFHS 2015-16) states that the unmet need in UP was 18 per cent for currently married women aged between 15 and 49 years. This means an estimated 8.2 million women have been denied access to family planning. In Badaun, which has a more than 70 per cent rural population, the total unserviced need is almost 14 per cent. This is higher than the national average of 12.9 per cent. The preference for sons puts women under so much pressure to produce a male heir that many times they are forced into numerous pregnancie­s and a series of abortions until they do so. The preference for a son has led to around 4,60,000 girls going missing due to sex selection at birth each year between 2013 and 2017, according to the UNFPA’s -7$. -6 35. 9/- 6 ( 83 $6 $- ! L ast week, a six-month pregnant woman in Badaun, Uttar Pradesh (UP), was attacked by her husband with a sharp-edged weapon. Her family alleged that he slit her stomach to find out the gender of the unborn baby. They told the police that the father of five daughters was so desperate for a son that he resorted to this brutal way to check if the foetus was that of a boy or a girl. Although a First Informatio­n Report (FIR) has been registered and the husband arrested, this gruesome crime underlines once again the deeplyentr­enched preference for sons in our culture. Despite the best efforts of the Union Government, States and nongovernm­ental organisati­ons over the years, there seems to be very little change in attitudes towards the girl child in the country. This is not just deeply worrying but also frightenin­g. It is not, however, surprising that 6 ! " $ ! ) % C C 1$ D $ E * + 2020 State of the Population Report. Last month, noted researcher Fengqing Chao of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia, and his colleagues projected an even darker future for girls in India. According to their research published in the journal the average annual number of missing female births between 2017 and 2025 was likely to be 4,69,000 per year and would increase to 5,19,000 per year for the time period between 2026 to 2030. This research singles out UP as the Indian State most likely to have the PLOS ONE, The writer is a senior journalist) PRINTED AND DISTRIBUTE­D BY PRESSREADE­R PressReade­ +1 604 278 4604 ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY COPYRIGHT AND PROTECTED BY APPLICABLE LAW

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