When Was Modernism in Indian Art
is beyond such gendered metaphor, but beyond also the proclaimed death of the subject.
Within art practice, the terms of discourse for modern India would have to hold together a complex subjectivity which cannot be divided along the tradition/ 126 modernity axis; nor can we privilege any further, the virtues of authenticity once such essentializing categories have been brought under scrutiny. It may be useful to place another stake on the truth of modernity within a deconstucted matrix of the nation: to position it like an elegiac metaphor in the wake of our own deeply ambivalent passage to the globalizing politics of the postmodern age. The more political among the Indian artists may be right after all in believing that the still-unresolved national question accounts for modernism's lasting possession of the subversive power that it has lost elsewhere. For that which is forsaken has not only a special symbolic value but a hermeneutic function as well.
A version of this paper was published in South Atlantic Quarterly, Vol. 92, No. 3, Summer 1993.
NOTES AND REFERENCES
1. Jean-Francois Lyotard, The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knoioledge, translated by Ceoff Ben-nington and Brian Massumi, Manchester, 1986, pp. 71-82.
3. The following discussion takes off from Homi K. Bhabha, 'Remembering Fanon: Self, Psyche, and the Colonial Condition7, in Remaking History, edited by Barbara Kruger and Phil Mariani Seattle, 1989, pp. 131-48.
4. Raymond Williams, The Politics of Modernism: Against the New Conformists, London, 1989, p. 35.
5. Fredric Jameson, Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, London, 1991, p. 369.
6. Lyotard, Postmodern Condition, p. 77
7. Hal Foster, Introduction to The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture, edited by Hal Foster, Port Townsend, 198, pp. xv-xvi.
8. Williams, Politics of Modernism, p. 35.
9. Jameson, Postmodernism, p. 311.
10. Ibid., p. 307.
11. Collated information on the Indian People's Theatre Movement is available in Marxist
Cultural Movements: Chronicles and Documents, 1936-1947, edited by Sudhi Pradhan, Calcutta, 1977.
12. Foster, Introduction, p. xii.
13. Jameson, Postmodernism, pp. 417-18.
14. See John Berger, Success and Failure of Picasso, Harmondsworth, 1965.
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