Sukhi Barber
August 12, 2011 8:22 PM   Subscribe

I usually refrain from commenting on art on Metafilter. I like this work a lot, but I am prepared for an avalanche of snark because of the artspeak (yeah, I agree, annoying) and spiritual content.
(Even atheistic Zenspeak.)
posted by kozad at 8:35 PM on August 12, 2011

I'll provide no snark. I've recently taken up a meditation routine and thought the pictured pieces were awesome and evocative.
posted by Ipsifendus at 9:07 PM on August 12, 2011

An excellent post. Art is everywhere, good art is a rare gem. Thanks.
posted by tomswift at 9:10 PM on August 12, 2011

MetaFilter: I am prepared for an avalanche of snark.
posted by homunculus at 10:06 PM on August 12, 2011 [2 favorites]

Yeah, those are good approximations of the sensations of good meditation.

This piece by Park Chan-girl reminds me of how it sometimes feels at the end of a long sit.
posted by homunculus at 12:47 AM on August 13, 2011

OK, I'll bite.

"Synthesis has a profound beauty..."

Whatever this stuff is, profound it ain't. It is thuddingly shallow. A meditating figure whose skin is unfurling like a lotus flower. A meditating figure with a sunburst in the torso. A head opening to show a jewel-shaped piece of glass.

OK, got it. Now what?

The particular aspect, as I understand and have sometimes practiced, of Buddhist metaphors like the lotus, is that you consider the thing itself and how it encompasses more than its 'obvious' identity - to the point that the sense of obviousness itself breaks down. At some point, your perceptions and sense of self goes the same way.

But you consider 'the thing itself'. You open yourself to the flower, the vase, the syllable, the rock, and do not think of it as a metaphor. Most certainly, you don't impose some high level meta-metaphor upon it.

This is great, profound spiritual art in the way that the Matrix is great, profound spiritual art - a painfully undigested mash-up of honkingly cloddish takes on concepts that if they had touched the creator at any level worth the candle, would have resulted in some demonstration of original awareness that is in fact utterly missing.
posted by Devonian at 4:53 AM on August 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

They remind me of what I saw 20 years ago in a new-age bookstore on the front of books written by people with names like Sufi Karma Sutra. Stacks and stacks of perfect-bound books with pastel illustrations of vague handwavey spiritual figures on the front and vague handwavey spiritual text inside. Nothing too difficult.

I could be unkind and say new-age freaky bookstores (my ex used to run one so I have an insider perspective) were nothing more than gift-shops for the spiritually empty, but some people did see that there was more to it than just pastel illustrations, shiny rocks and Authentic Native American Spirit Totems and move on to a real practice (somewhere else).

One could argue that simplified, milled down pablum "Disneyfied" spirituality is harmful, but one could also argue that far fewer people would reach the Good Stuff without such bridges to mainstream thought processes.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:37 AM on August 13, 2011

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