Friday, April 25, 2014

What holds Cities Together

There is an old proverb namely that where There is no vision, the people perish. Over here, ours are very concrete, practical, quite rational concerns about our city . They   on the face of it, don’t require old world wisdom. True, and yet on another plane, even as we observe humanity on the streets and pavements going about impersonally, we also know that each he or she is in some sense a person not merely made of practical concerns but also unique, as well as socially distinct . In  moments of the crises that beset the great cities, it is these elements that come out openly in public spaces whether in sheer outrage or overt intense joy or lamentation.

Given this , how important then it is that the city be rich with those signs and symbols that rise above divisions partisan passions or in abject materialism to some higher vision.

Works of art in public places, then are those very peaks in human living. They are the magnets that may hold the public space together . Resurgence is that upstanding sculpture which represents the relentless spiral of the energies of the people.

A good city is a secular space, on one plane, on another it can also breed mankind’s detached longing. And  in such public spaces great sculpture or murals may do that provided these be fired by the deepest perception, steeped in fresh, animating forms. Thus the secular space is not merely mundane, but could be tinged with the boundless feelings and no narrow dogmas. Such and similar expressive yearnings give moments of liberation.

The Public space with which a passer by will identify has to be tinged with some true beauty, which is another name of divinity. Our cities like those in old Rajasthan or those of Tuscany in Italy were once such.

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