Prabhakaran - He is a Special humanistic character - Tilak Kodagoda ( Sri lanka vanguard Party

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6etails $reated /n -uesda+1 )7 8ovem"er )9*: *;<:=

Kodagoda was a Journalist and Political activist until the end of the War (in Sri Lanka) and then metamorphoses in to expressionist Painter in a Western context. is !rt product can "e categori#e under the theme of $onceptual art.

%ut he expresses himself as non& artist. is condition is 'a"surd'. (rom the view of the )*st centur+ in a so called Sinhala ,mpire( "ecause -amils are colonised under the Sinhala regime now) the most persistence .uestions hunting western museums ever since the understanding of different kettle of expressions is the 'place of /ther' or /ther0s discourses. -he Kodagoda0s visual imagination is emerged after his War time experiences as a dissenter against the essential "eliefs and values of "oth of Sinhala $hauvinist culture and traditional political philosoph+. is massage is empt+ and his discourse is silent. Please look at his %log page1 kodagodalankart."logspot.com & 2nterviewed "+ 3an4ula Wediwardane & 5enerall+1 painters have their own histor+ and rh+thm. %ut we know +ou worked in different fields1 and acted as a critic and 4ournalist. %ut now +ou have suddenl+ landed to art as a doom. Lets start from there. ow it

happened> Lets enter the point in this wa+. -oda+ painters are doing other "usiness rather than art. !nd some painters are taking efforts to make paintings divine in this era. 3oreover1 people like Jagath Weerasinghe and Su4ith ?athna+ake have alread+ stopped their art carrier. -hat is the main reason for m+ sudden dooming. -he second reason is a "it different. 2n )9991 Jagath Weerasinghe and 6eepthi Kumara changed the face of Sri Lankan painting discourse. ere1 "oth of them agreed that an+one could approach poems1 paintings or novels if the+ scientificall+ stud+ the sign s+stem of art. 2 studied art theor+ during past *) +ears with 6eepthi in our political relationship. %ut 2 didn@t get an interval for this kind of works with m+ "us+ schedules. 2 had to get out of the countr+ due to genocide in )99=. 2 came to ,urope. ere 2 met new experiences. got long interval. 2 waited in front of the original works of Piccasso1 6ali1 5ustuv $lint1,gon ans ,rni1 Aincent Aan 5ough1 ,dgar 6egas1 (ran# 3arc1 !medeo 3odigliani1 undert Wasser1 ans ,rni1 5o+a1 Segantini1 Aermeer and 3onet in ,uropean metropolitans. 2 put m+ attention on colour ranges1 "rush strokes and "rush counts. Shortl+ 2 got in to the discourse. !nd 2 felt that this art genre has alread+ expired. So 2 focused to the contemporar+ works of !nselm Kiefer1 3ark ?othko1 Jackson Pollock1 6amian irst 1 Leon 5olu" and 5eorg %aselit#. ere1 again 2 wanted to sa+ that an+one can do art if he or she familiari#es the discourse of art. %ut those are not rough art. 2n thorough art +ou will find inner conflicts of a su"4ect. What 2 mean "+ inner conflicts is the pro"lematic we face due to social intervene. 2 suggest this is a counter movement for one who sa+s Ban+thing can "e art@. 2 draw "oth social and m+ inner conflicts. %ut 2 must emphasi#e that 2 am not a so&called painter. Cou told that "oth 6eepthi and Jagath emphasi#ed that an+one can do art if the+ scientificall+ stud+ the sign s+stem of art1 in other words discourse of art. ave +ou done that> What 2 mean "+ Bscientific@ is Bmethodological@. %ut it is not another academic stud+. 3+ approach is its opposite. 3+ point is if +ou capture the discourse1 +ou can do artworks. %ut this wouldn@t "ecome thorough art. 2n this sense1 D+esD. Please look at m+ art works. -he dominant idea is that there should "e an intuition for entering art. 6o +ou "elieve in such intuition and do +ou have such intuition> 2 "elieve that art has alread+ deviated from nature to culture. -his happened due to the capital. So intuition is nothing other than conscious production. So art we fantasi#ed has toda+ commodit+fied and consumeri#ed. $ontemporar+ art is no more spiritual. !ctuall+ toda+ we can@t find art works "ut cultural productions. 2n this condition 2 don@t "elieve intuition. !nd 2 don@t "elieve m+ own

intuition too. ow do +ou interpret art with this discourse> 2n one word1 art means freedom. 2t@s a wa+ of expressing human freedomE wa+ of expressing one@s spirit. !rt focuses where nature fails. While art focuses into ideals1 science focuses to facts. -he specialt+ of art is its su"stantial wa+ of expressing ideas. !rt it is a wa+ of looking at collective spirit. 2f someone going to stud+ this area1 the first stage the+ meet is Bart@E secondl+ religion and then philosoph+. Cou are highlighting that art is freedom. -hen what can +ou sa+ a"out the art works of others> !re the+ not expressing their freedom through their art works> -his idea is valid for ever+one. 2f someone writes a poem on a sheet1 he is releasing his own idea1 which "elonged to his mind. !s a poet +ou will feel a freedom after having written a poem in a sheet. We know that art has man+ stages in histor+. We have passed categories like 3odern art1 !"stract art and $ontemporar+ art. Where do +ou place +our work in this histor+> 2n Sri Lanka1 artists ar"itrar+ categori#e their works according to their own wishes. -his is a real traged+. 2 sent copies of m+ work to Jagath Weerasinghe. e said m+ works "elong to contemporar+ art. 6eepthi said the+ "elong to conceptual categor+ of contemporar+ art. 2 personall+ categori#ed m+ earlier works as a"stract and later works as conceptual

!s +ou mentioned1 can artists categori#e their own work> 8ow artists have various anal+tical tools rather than an+ age in histor+. 2t means he or she must learn something more than art. -oda+ art is not onl+ an aesthetic field "ut also a wa+ of philosoph+. Picasso said that +ou should not ask the reason for "ird to sing and similarl+ one can sa+ that +ou should not ask a"out the reasons for artist to paint. 2 think this is an outmoded idea. !rtists should "e .uestioned1 and artists must answer these .uestions. Cou should have knowledge to do this. Cou must work hard. -oda+ an artist should "e a philosopher. -oda+ man+ people are painting and writing. %ut the+ "elong to outmoded age. 2 think there were some philosophical components in ever+ artist in histor+. Cou are sa+ing that the+ didn@t have an+ interpretation of their own works> Ces1 the+ had. %ut as their works were spiritual the+ were a"le to live in high position rather than general people. 8o"od+ .uestioned their works and lives. Wh+> ! painter like Picasso "elonged to movements like 6adaism or $u"ism. %ut he defended himself "+ sa+ing Bdon@t ask an+ thing a"out m+ work@. Wh+> -he+ are divine people at that era. %ut the artist like !nselm Kiepfer wrote on philosophical themes of art while practicing. e has transcended aesthetic. !ccording to him1 painting is not divine or m+sterious. e used to sa+ that no one can understand his art without himself. 2f someone wants to transcend the second generation which 2 mentioned from !nselm Kiefer to Jackson Pollock1 the+ should have new philosophical knowledge of art. /therwise the+ will

fail. 2 mean it "+ that sense. 2 ask +ou whether +our philosophical categori#ation was actuall+ existed in histor+ or there were some different categori#ations> Philosophicall+ we can categori#e art as s+m"olic1 classical and romantic. %efore 5reek era1 art was s+m"olic. When +ou come to 5reek period +ou can see classical art. !fter that1 romantic art arrived1 and also we can name it as western $hristian art. ?omantic art was "lossomed through the failure of earl+ stage. 2t was the he+da+ of poem1 music and painting. -hat was the period !rthur 6anto "rought the idea1 B-he ,nd of !rt@. ow do +ou see this> 2t was introduced "+ !rthur $. 6anto in his thesis1 F egel@s ,nd of !rt -hesisD. e got this idea from egel. egel discussed this in the period of *G)9&*G:9.2n addition to that1 ?o"ert Pipping 1 3icheal 2nwood and Slavo4 Hi#ek have also discussed this issue. Lets we take it as this. !rtist has to stop where the collective spirit has expressed in his artwork. 2n the earlier stages an artist made statue "+ using cla+. -hat means he himself expresses his spirit through cla+. 2n other words he externali#ed his spirit into cla+. -hat means his idea has translated into matter. 2t is the principle of art. 2f we think a person like Picasso1 he ma+ draw the same thing in a paper1 then he himself has removed from nature. !nd then three&dimension statue has turned into two&dimension painting. What happens here is matter faded awa+ and spirit "ecomes much more expressive. !s far as +ou express +our spirit through artwork1 its materialit+ will fade awa+. %ut we shouldn@t forget that egel did not reduce concept to realit+. !ccording to him concept is a part of realit+1 which restructure realit+. When +ou practice it +ou do not need matter here after. 2t means +ou can full+ express +our spirit through words. -his is what 2 mean B,nd of !rt@. 3ichael 2nwood writes a"out end of art in his article1 B egel@ as follows. F ….. What more is these for art to do> !rt itself cannot reflect on art as a whole and the totalit+ constituted "+ the arts and art forms. -his is task that can onl+ "e performed "+ philosoph+ of art1 not "+ art itselfII.D What he sa+ing is that after ?omanticism art ma+ not represent itself as art an+more. What happens is philosoph+ of art is rising against the validit+ of art. 2n other words1 philosoph+ will capture the place of art in histor+ . ?o"ert Pippin further develops this idea as follows. “….. umani#ing transformation of the

natural in to a the natural worldIID. -he meaning of the transcendence of material art and emergence of a"stract art is releasing someone from the prison of the nature. -hen what do +ou mean "+ painting according to these concepts> 2 mentioned a"out !nselm Kiepfer at the "eginning. !ccording to him1 painting is an image +ou give for a specific concept. -here was a 5erman thinker of art called -heodor W. !dorno. !dorno said if some artwork gives a pleasure for +ou1 it means it is full+ lo+al to contemporar+ social s+stem. %ut if an artwork gives +ou a pain or suffering1 it@s a work of anti s+stem. ere1 2 interpret artwork as a s+nthesis of these two ends. ,xactl+ what 2 mean is the inherent Bcontradiction@ of human "eing. What do +ou think a"out the L--, movement1 which was totall+ eradicated from Sri Lankan Bmotherland@ according to Sinhala %uddhist extremists> 2 ask this "ecause +our works are directl+ linked for it. -he contradiction "etween Sinhala and -amil thinking exists in their own antagonism of social "ond. L--, means a solution for this given antagonism. -hat@s the ke+ characteristic that L--, is different from the other -amil movements. 2t@s the movement that made the ver+ creative correlation "etween intellectuals and la"orers. Jnder the L--, movement "oth fighters and intellectuals were e.ual. So no one is higher than other and no one is lower than other. -hat is wh+ 2 call it that L--, is a highl+ intellectual movement. %ut the+ had man+ weak points at the ver+ "egging as a li"eration movement. !s example1 2 can mention the driven awa+ of 3uslims and killing of civilians. We see it as pro"lematic of their human civili#ation. %ut the+ were internall+ matured when the+ faced the last era of struggle. 2t means it took a universal dimension with its development. -he+ stopped harming civilians in air attacks and suicide missions as a pro4ect later. 8ot as a tactical move1 "ut as an essential practice. !t the end it was a movement1 which fought for separate homeland for over thirt+ +ears and was a movement possessed a strong will till end in front of highl+ powerful multinational alliance which supported Sinhalese "ar"aric state. So1 who is Pra"hakaran according to +ou> 3+ answer is m+ painting a"out him. 8ow 2 am coming to +our painting. %efore that1 tell me is Jesus religious or political according to +ou> Shortl+1 he is religious at the same time political. e is political till he was "eing crucified. !fter that1 he "ecame religious1 and shortl+ after he turned to 5od. 8ow he is the 5od. Cour painting F-he 3onstrosit+ of Pra"hakaranD was "ased in 3ichelangelo@s F $hrist on the $rossD. ow did +ou read the 3ichelangelo@s painting> (irst 2 must sa+ that this idea came through 6eepthi. 2 remem"er that he firstl+ gave this idea to Su4ith ?athna+ake. %ut Su4ith did not considered it. Later 2 gave m+ remake of F-he 3aratDs & B-he Pra"hakaran@ to 6eepthi. e suggested to do that work and also he titled it as B5od1 where are +ou@. !fter that 2 worked with it. %ut even when 2 was in Sri Lanka1 2 was interested in 3ichelangelo@s original work. 2 searched that whether an+"od+ has repainted this after 3ichelangelo1 and 2 didn@t find an+ work. 2 thought that no"od+ touched it "ecause $rist is the

5od. 2 took it as a challenge. 2 discussed1 read and researched it different aspects. !ctuall+ $hrist was a common man among people. e was not onl+ as su"4ective "ut also as o"4ective spirit. e was a s+nthesis "etween them. e is what +ou call !"solute Spirit. What he taught to societ+ when he was crucified is that there is no such thing as 5od. 2f there was a 5od1 $hrist should "e saved. %ut now Jesus is the 5odK 2t means he is the 5od after death. Hi#ek titled $hrist as B3onstrosit+@ for this ver+ reason. ow do +ou re&launch this idea of 3onstrosit+ in +our art> Pra"hakaran was a specific character which hard to understand for "oth Sinhalese and -amils. e is a person who never released his struggle from "eginning to end. Which mean he was a "ig fighter for his people in small piece of land for three decades. 2t means more than half of life he was in same fight. 8ot onl+ that1 he dedicated his whole famil+ for his people@s struggle. e is one who holds "oth essence and su"4ect of histor+. !"solute spirit means a person is positioned like that. We have onl+ one person in Sri Lanka who holds histor+ and who helps to reflex "ack to societ+ in Sri Lanka. e is a Special humanistic character with huge amount of dedication1 discipline and personalit+. e is revolutionist. Pra"hakaran is an extraordinar+ leader in "oth Sinhala and -amil societ+ even the+ can@t imagine him. 2 named Pra"hakaran as B3onstrosit+@ in that sense. Wh+ did +ou made a re&painting rather than an original on crucifixion> $learl+ m+ concept is rather different to !ngelo@s concept. So in that sense m+ painting is original as well as !ngelo@s. 3+ painting goes to politics while !ngelo@s goes to religion. When $hrist goes to religion1 Pra"hakaran goes to politics. $hrist gave a massive value for an ordinar+ tim"er piece. %ut now it@s over higher than an+thing else Pra"hakaran gave a huge validit+ to %uddhist sign1 which even %uddhist themselves forgot. -hat@s B6harma $hakra@ (6hamma Wheel). %ut now %uddhists are negating this realit+. 3+ anal+sis is as $hrist can never get separated from cross1 Pra"hakaran cannot "e separated from 6hamma Wheel. Jagath Weerasinghe named this as a great work and he said that this is much more powerful than !ngelo@s work. !ngelo painted keeping $hrist@s head turned upwards to haven1 "ut 2 did it keeping Pra"hakaran@s head straight towards us with straight e+es and familiar cap. We saw his dead "od+ rather open e+es than even living. 2 emphasi#ed those sharp e+es when 2 drew. 2t is the Sign of future -amil struggle. %oth art and philosoph+ was "orn in western societ+. !lso there is a mass $hristian societ+ in ,urope. %ut ,uropeans still have

onl+ a diplomatic idea a"out Pra"hakaran. ,uropeans will understand real Pra"hakaran not through diplomatic missions "ut through art. !rt is powerful than other approaches. 2n future ,uropeans will write a"out Pra"hakaran in their art and philosoph+. 2 didn@t get +our answer. 2 asked wh+ did +ou re&paint rather than doing original work> 2 ma+ .uestion +ou like this. 2t is like a re&painting a"out !ngelo@s painting in different context. Wh+ couldn@t an+one to remake !ngelo@s painting> Cou know that +ounger generation artists remake classical works. 3ona Lisa is a popular example. Wh+ not this> 2 think the+ are afraid of it. Wh+> -hat is the B5od@K !ngelo@s painting is a divine work for ,uropeans. 2f a ,uropean goes through m+ work he will "e surprised and shocked. 2 referred to three religions when 2 did this. 2t was a challenge. 2t was not 4ust an ordinar+ aesthetic work. 3+ work is a much challenge rather than !ngelo@s painting. !ccording to ?a4apaksha regime1 no more Brace pro"lems@ after having totall+ destro+ed Bterrorists@ . !t the same time some nationalist leftist still comment that Lenin@s theor+ of0 the right of self& determination is not applica"le to toda+. !s a conclusion1 what is +our idea a"out that> 3ahinda ?a4apaksha@s government is a rural t+pe gang "ased primitive1 uncivili#ed personal pro4ect. -he person who control administrative sector1 5hota"ha+a is a ps+chotic. Ps+chotics@ main characteristic is the devoid of unconscious. When one does not have unconscious1 he or she does not posses guilt+ feelings. e doesn@t know that we have a societ+ "e+ond him. ?esult is he does what he wants. e can do so as he has state power. Let@s see what will happen to him when he loses the state power. -hose "utchers think that the+ can grip -amil@s freedom "+ registering armed people1 replacing Sinhalese families1 renaming all -amil signs with Sinhala language1 destro+ing indu temples1 re"uilding %uddhist temples1 teaching Sinhala language to -amil children1 constructing hotels and making highwa+s in north. -he+ will think that -amil pro"lems will disappear in future. %ut what will happen is -amils will start their struggle in new round. -here was genocide as never in histor+ and their culture civili#ation is totall+ destro+ed. -he+ will repl+ soon. 2 "elieve that "oth left and capitalism failed in front of racism. -he right of nation@s self&determination should "e accepted1 as the final solution "+ ma4orit+ is the common classical leftist approach. Lenin@s position of the right of nation@s self& determination is rather different than man+ of these interpretations. !ccording to Lenin1 there can@t "e an+thing as Btactical@ against 3arxist fundamentals. 2t is no longer valid when there is something against these fundamentals. 2t will affect on whole picture according to Lenin. 2t means that one can@t pla+ games with politics. 3arxist don@t recogni#e societ+ that as a simple power game. -hat@s a social transformation with huge involvement of people. -o Lenin1 a political slogan is not something to win the num"ers of heads. 2t should "e a process of discipline at the same time. Lenin presents this thesis within this whole picture. e "rought this for collectivit+1 not for separation. 8ow JAP or others ma+ gossip with this answer that the+ are telling the sameInoK Wait for the rest of m+ answer. -hen +ou ma+ recogni#e the level of illusions. 3arxism is not a universal theor+E it@s a place where +ou can find differences at the end. 3arxism suggests how to change the whole societ+ while keeping this diversit+ at the same time. !ccording to 3arxism1 it is immediate to solve even a smaller matter like nation@s demands. 8ot postponing it tomorrow. So1 national pro"lem is not another pro"lem we can solve tomorrow. 2t should "e a solution nowK When Lenin sa+s that he accept the separation of

oppressed nationalities1 he means a new wa+ of re unite nationalities. 2t is the great&civili#ed wa+ of accepting the right of nations self&determination. We have to re4ect leftist pragmatism. ere we can find their anti 3arxism and inherent racism. 8ow people like Kumar or Pu"udu tr+ to hug and love -amil people "ecause the+ run through this guilt and failure. 8ow the+ ma+ suicide for -amilsK -he+ ma+ think the -amils will accept them after "eing genocide. We can onl+ sa+ for these so&called leftists1 that north is not another kind of a south that +ou pla+ +our usual gamesK We onl+ can sa+ when +ou speak a"out democrac+ and socialism +ou can do so onl+ under the tree of fascism.

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