Arab Today, arab today twisted perceptions kamasutra not a dirty little book
Last Updated : GMT 17:19:51
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Twisted perceptions, Kama-Sutra 'not a dirty little book'

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Twisted perceptions, Kama-Sutra 'not a dirty little book'

Indian dancer Lakshmi Vishwanathan
Paris - AFP

In the West, India's Kama Sutra most often evokes an exotic bible of sexual positions regularly consulted for blush-inducing tips in glossy magazines.
However a new exhibition in Paris hopes to flip these misconceptions on their head.
For the first time, the Hindu text dating to roughly the fourth century is examined in an exhibition of some 350 sculptures, paintings and everyday items.
The aim, says Indian curator Alka Pande, is to show "it is not a dirty little book and that it is not (just) a book on sexual positions."
"I want them to see it as a book of life, as a book of pleasure, as a book of celebrating the finer nuances of a great style of living and aesthetics," she told AFP.
The exhibit, at the Pinacotheque art gallery through January, "is not only erotic, it's about sensuality, it's about pleasure, it's all about music, dance, how to live a good life," she said.
With the City of Love in a saucy mood this season, the exhibit coincides with one on the infamous master of debauchery, the 18th-century Marquis de Sade, at the Musee d'Orsay, whose trailer shocked with its staged orgy of writhing naked bodies.
Some Parisians also got hot under the collar over a huge inflatable outdoor sculpture by American artist Paul McCarthy which, not unintentionally, resembled a sex toy.
And the Pinacotheque itself will open a new show next month, "The Art of Love in the Time of the Geishas", which like the Kama Sutra carries a warning that content may not be suitable for all.
One of the gallery's security guards told AFP that a few people, scandalised at images of acrobatic intercourse, orgies and even bestiality in the current show, had stormed out.
"They didn't take time to read the explanations," she shrugged.
- 'A boring little book' -
In reality, the better-known erotic side of the Kama Sutra is only one of seven tomes in a compilation by Vatsyayana, a member of the highest priestly class of Hindu society.
The Kama Sutra looks at the third of four pillars of Hinduism which correspond to the different stages of life. Having learned morals and ethics, and attained professional success, one can focus on Kama, or desire, not just sexually, but in drawing pleasure from the arts, music and the enjoyment of life.
"It's actually a boring little book otherwise, but I think when people wanted to illustrate it, it became like a pleasure book and ... nothing sells better than sex," said Pande.
"People don't know that it is seven books they just think: 'Oh my God, does a man stand on his head and have sex with six women at the same time'?"
Bathed in warm colours of saffron, green and purple, the exhibit takes viewers on a journey through the 36 chapters of the work, which looks at society and social concepts, how to find and woo a wife, even how to arrange household furniture.
The book suggests both men and women study the 64 arts, anything from how to make a bed to the art of war, magic, and teaching parrots to speak.
And in keeping with the propensity at the time for taking child brides, lists a girl who has "fully arrived at puberty" among those to be avoided in choosing a wife.
The book also details how to seduce the wives of others, and that most mysterious of pursuits: examination of the state of a woman's mind.
Images and sculptures of the gods Shiva and Parvati -- the idealised couple --  scenes of childbirth, and erotic reliefs often seen on ancient temples take their place beside objects of devotion, such as the phallic lingam.
Sculptures of women sneakily having sex with a man other than her husband, or a man with a courtesan, show the forward-thinking parts of a book that even mentions techniques of homosexual lovemaking.
- 'In India god makes love' -
Of course the famous depiction of yogic sexual positions abound, alongside pictures of sex with animals.
"In ancient Hinduism, the difference between man and animal was not as marked as in our culture. This is explained by the fact that a man could have been an animal in a previous life," read a note alongside the exhibit.
"There are some curious things here," said 92-year-old visitor Michelle. "In one of the cases... a woman and an elephant. Of course that makes you smile. The thing about the horse is quite curious too. But I suppose for them it was fun, religion aside."
Pande explains that in traditional India, sexuality was a way to view the world, and the Western guilt around eroticism made a work like the Kama-Sutra hard to understand.
"It has no concept of sin, it has no concept that you have sex only for procreation, it is really about celebrating the good life," she said.
This is also seen in the mythology surrounding Hindu's pantheon of gods, each of whom has a consort.
"If in Christianity God is love, in India god makes love. The better lover a god is, the better god he is," said Pinacotheque director Marc Restellini.

 

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today twisted perceptions kamasutra not a dirty little book Arab Today, arab today twisted perceptions kamasutra not a dirty little book

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Mohamed Bahari prepares new collection for spring 2017

GMT 06:15 2017 Monday ,27 February

Mohamed Bahari prepares new collection for spring 2017
Arab Today, arab today 17.4 million tourists visit UAE in 2016

GMT 00:47 2017 Monday ,27 February

17.4 million tourists visit UAE in 2016
Arab Today, arab today Sheds light on major steps in 12-year career

GMT 06:07 2017 Monday ,27 February

Sheds light on major steps in 12-year career
Arab Today, arab today UN envoy sets out framework

GMT 07:25 2017 Monday ,27 February

UN envoy sets out framework
Arab Today, arab today Ayat Abaza says state TV presented major stars

GMT 03:52 2017 Sunday ,26 February

Ayat Abaza says state TV presented major stars
View News in Arabic - Culture: مراجعة كتب
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Reading therapy relieves mental disorders

GMT 15:39 2017 Friday ,24 February

Reading therapy relieves mental disorders
Arab Today, arab today UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years

GMT 05:14 2017 Thursday ,23 February

UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years
Arab Today, arab today Penguins in the age of dinos

GMT 11:44 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Penguins in the age of dinos
Arab Today, arab today Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today 'Constructive' Vauxhall talk with union

GMT 08:54 2017 Saturday ,25 February

'Constructive' Vauxhall talk with union
Arab Today, arab today Tesla back into red but revenue grows

GMT 07:27 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Tesla back into red but revenue grows
Arab Today, arab today Reasons for the delay 'On the Stairs of Servants'

GMT 06:42 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Reasons for the delay 'On the Stairs of Servants'
Arab Today, arab today Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 12:16 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 07:23 2017 Friday ,24 February

Ola Ghanem hopes to work with M.Ramadan

GMT 12:35 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

63-Year-Old Woman Delivers Baby

GMT 18:23 2017 Friday ,24 February

Fadi explains secrets of  Nancy Ajram's newlook

GMT 10:28 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Milan laughs while Rome cries

GMT 19:45 2017 Monday ,20 February

Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"

GMT 10:51 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Pigs with edited genes show resistance

GMT 14:04 2017 Friday ,24 February

Messi visit will contribute in tourism

GMT 13:12 2015 Saturday ,09 May

Sheikh Sultan opens Sharjah Centre

GMT 22:42 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Nasima Gamei revives heritage in jewelries
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday