Chakrasamvara (Wheel of Bliss) Tantra, India, AD 700–800 . Curated by Imma Ramos. Yoni puja is really a devotional practice from the medieval Indian philosophy of Tantra, and its appropriation on Too Hot to Handle exemplifies its constant misinterpretation in the West, along the same homogenizing lines that have charged sacred Indian practices like kama sutra with orientalist impressions of hypersexual hedonism. Political leaders who drew upon Tantra were attracted to its twofold promise of material and spiritual wealth. Tantra: enlightenment to revolution will be the first major exhibition in the UK focusing on the history of Tantra and its global impact. Tantra: enlightenment to revolution. This exhibition and its book help us understand why and how it is alive today. At its inception, Tantra had crucial political implications. Date of experience: October 2020. First major exhibition in the UK focusing on the history of Tantra, a radical philosophy that transformed the religious, cultural and political landscape of India and beyond. Yoni puja, the women are informed, is about “truly owning who you are in this very moment, feeling good about that, and drawing inspiration and power from it.”. Tantra: enlightenment to revolution runs 23 April-26 July 2020 at The British Museum. At the more figural end, paintings by the Kashmiri artist Ghulam Rasool Santosh embody the union of Shiva and Shakti, combining the transcendental nature of Tantric sexuality with a geometric reduction of form. ( Log Out /  Inside religious practice, Tantra has inspired many people to a certain style of greatness. A new philosophy emerged in India from about 500AD, defined in Tantras, religious dialogues written down in Sanskrit, some of the oldest copies of which are in the British Museum… Read the choicest cuts from the Quietus archive: reviews, features and opinion, A Renaissance For Live Cinema: Performance At Splice & Sheffield Doc/Fest, Palm Desert Discs: John Garcia's Favourite Albums, Understand The Feeling: Fenriz Of Darkthrone's Favourite House Records, New Weird Britain: Noel Gardner's 2019 Round-Up, A Dastardly Business: Netflix's House of Cards Remake Reviewed, Beyond The Vulva Mirror: Tantra At The British Museum, Hard Wet Epic: The Fluid Seductions Of Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Slipped Discs: Record Sleeves By Contemporary Artists, Invasion Of The Bothy Thatchers: Uncanny Ethnography At Highland Folk Museum, Portrait Of The Artist: Yves Peyré Remembers Francis Bacon, Utopias Are Traps: Toyin Ojih Odutola On A Countervailing Theory. A glance at Amazon confirms that a full spectrum of books on Tantra is readily available today, from the French poet Franck Andre Jamme’s Tantra Song – Tantric Painting from Rajasthan 2011to books such as Barbara Carrellas, Urban Tantra: Sacred Sex for the Twenty-First Century 2017. She studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London 1999-2003 and at the Royal Academy Schools London 2004-06. Created as a ‘space to sit and read and be,’ library of exile is an installation by British artist and writer, Edmund de Waal. They were letting people queue and enter regardless of time slot once inside it was super crowded and packed. Tantric culture and tradition are as alive as ever today, as the comprehensive and exhaustive exhibition at the British Museum shows. 21 Jan 2021 Ask Sian248 about The British Museum. Hands raised, she carries a flower and flag print of Artemisia Gentileschi’s Judith Slaying Holofernes, homaging a sparse lineage of female artists. This is my exhibition review of Tantra: enlightenment to revolution, at the British Museum. ©The Trustees of the British Museum. Buy. ( Log Out /  Doniger, Wendy.2009. ... ©The Trustees of the British Museum. 2004. Review ‘Going with the flow’ TLS May 21. ( Log Out /  Tuis blogs Die tantra-uitstalling van die British Museum. The reverence attached to sexual imagery underscores one of the show’s most emphatic messages about Tantra: pleasure is tapped into for a higher purpose, and is not an end in itself. Please review and manage your cookie settings. As well as the unparalleled joy of keeping the publication alive, you'll receive benefits including exclusive editorial, podcasts, and specially-commissioned music by some of our favourite artists. Tantra at the British Museum . The British Museum, London: Hours, Address, The British Museum Reviews: 4.5/5. London: Arts Council of GB. Exhibition Reviews Kyoto to Catwalk at the Victoria & Albert Museum. The texts are exemplary and the selection visual rather than archaeological. Please review and manage your cookie settings. The aesthetics of Tantra mirror this celebration of the flesh. But the exhibition features clearly appropriative paintings by artists like Penny Slinger, who had no actual training in the divine philosophy of Tantra and were interested solely in its transgressive aesthetics, the provocative sensuality it exudes. The exhibition -- Tantra: enlightenment to revolution -- is scheduled to take place at the British Museum from September 24, 2020, till January 24, 2021. … Poor old Sting: while Jagger makes the catalogue for Tantra: Enlightenment to Revolution, a conscientious new exhibition featuring around 130 artefacts at the British Museum… Frazier, Jessica [ed.]. The British Museum’s tantra exhibition. 1973. A philosophy originating in medieval India, Tantra has been linked to successive waves of revolutionary thought, from its sixth-century transformation of Hinduism and Buddhism, to the Indian fight for independence and the rise of 1960s… Tantra is not independent of Hinduism and Buddhism but has pervaded and transformed both traditions from its inception. Tiny manuscript images are kept to a minimum. They have dedicated a small space to some fascinating artefacts of historical Tantra and the mood and effect are mesmerising. Venice, Italy 409 contributions 180 helpful votes. He and Kali combine in Tantra: she is often astride his inert form as in the exhibition image. Tantra: enlightenment to revolution does raise critical questions for the roles that spirituality and pleasure play in our lives, given a workday that attempts to regulate and homogenise our desires into a framework of illusory countercultural individualism. The paintings they create range from anatomically dubious to absurdist, and the whole charade inserts a dose of exoticism into the culture of individualist self-love off which neoliberal capitalism profits, and for which scripted “reality” television acts as an aperture. Print depicting the goddess Kali, Calcutta Art Studio, Kolkata (Bengal, India), about 1885–95. Then there are mithuna carvings of couples in erotic poses, which aren’t explicitly Tantric but evoke its divine sensuality: lovers caressing each other, lips suspended in the moment before a kiss. Tantra: Enlightenment to Revolution The British Museum, London, 24 September — 24 January 2021. Explore the radical force that transformed the religious, cultural and political landscape of India and beyond in this landmark exhibition. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. London: Bloomsbury. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Tantra – the Indian cult of ecstasy. Reviews 'This wonderful catalogue is not merely a supplement to the exhibition - or even a replacement for those who had to miss it in the lockdown - but a great resource, a gateway to learn more about the wider context of Tantra… In the 1960s, artists and musicians did draw from Tantric philosophy through the free love movement, anti-capitalist activism, and environmentalist fervor. Centring on the power of divine feminine energy, Tantra inspired the dramatic rise of goddess worship in medieval India and continues to influence contemporary feminist thought and artistic practice. Imma Ramos sits in the middle: she talks rather of right hand [symbolic] and left hand [literal] interpretations and comments that the literal and the symbolic co-exist and the tensions between them make Tantra unique [Ramos 2020: 273]’One cannot attain liberation by means of soothing and pleasing antidotes’ we are sternly informed by a Tantric text [ibid: 165] and Ramos observes that ‘It is clear that sexual rites were also performed literally’ in certain contexts [ibid: 145]. London Tourism; ... Just remember to arrange general admission before the allotted time slot to the Tantra exhibition. Jamme, Franck Andre. Rawson, Philip. A Tantra exhibition is set to open at the British Museum and promises to 'be about more than just sex and yoga.' Yet the show’s curation seems to suggest that due to its underlying revolutionary spirit, Tantra possesses some latent key to our contemporary period of political unrest. £35.00. ©The Trustees of the British Museum. © The Syndics of Cambridge University Library. 27 Aug 2020 - 12 Jan 2021 Find out more about Edmund de Waal: library of exile The British Museum takes us into the world of Tantra in a fascinating blockbuster exhibition that’s filled with stunning artefacts — though there's still plenty of sex. It … Explore the radical force that transformed the religious, cultural and political landscape of India and beyond in this landmark exhibition. A RADICAL philosophy that transformed the religious, cultural and political landscape of India and beyond will be explored in a landmark new exhibition at the British Museum.. [Doniger 2009] Her revisionism is put in context in Frazier 2011:224-6 for example. ‘Yoni,’ a Sanskrit word, roughly translates as vulva, and ‘puja’ as worship. This is an art of shock and awe, of violence, bloodshed and ecstatic laughter. Amy Butterworth illustrates the commonly misinterpreted term, Tantra and the framework in which its exhibition was developed Upon my first delving into the Tantra movement, following the announcement by the British Museum on their exhibition showcasing the ancient philosophy, I couldn’t help but think: why is everyone talking about Sting? British Museum exhibition review: Tantra enlightenment to revolution 24 Sep 2020 – 24 Jan 2021 Activities Great Indoors Published on Monday, 12 October 2020 10:27 Last Updated on 13 October 2020 Monica Costa 0 Comments. Emeryville, CA: Ten Speed Press. Untitled, Ghulam Rasool Santosh, Delhi, India, 1970s. Tantra hasn’t lost its appeal either to downtrodden women or western orientalism. You can see the appeal. Tantra’s triumphant feminine power at the British Museum The influential Indian spiritual tradition is celebrated in an exhibition touching on life, sex and death As a wholly independent publication, we rely entirely on our ad bookings to keep The Quietus going. The British Museum has reopened with a very interesting exhibition about Tantra. It’s derived from the sacred instructional texts, the Tantras, which offer insight into certain anti-establishment, transgressive rituals that – when carried out correctly, and with guidance from a guru – can grant access to this power, manifested both temporally and supernaturally, like longevity and spiritual enlightenment. Buy. We needed a fresh look: the last exhibition on Tantra in London was 50 years ago so this new show at the BM is very welcome. The tradition of Tantra, as we learn from a newly opened exhibition at the British Museum (until 24 January 2021), has always been transgressive. The last two exhibits would give a Victorian archdeacon in Calcutta serious palpitations and one wonders how his wife might have reacted to such ferocious images of female power. Tantra (British Museum) enlightenment to revolution Imma Ramos. DHA have recently completed work on the British Museum’s latest exhibition – Tantra: enlightenment to revolution. Tantra today. British Museum has announced new exhibition 'Tantra: enlightenment to revolution'! It’s especially rewarding to see many familiar pieces from the BM’s Hotung Gallery displays retagged and juxtaposed here. The sensational subtitle of the last big Tantra exhibition, at the Hayward Gallery in 1971, gives a flavour of what I mean: “The Indian Cult of Ecstasy”. Tantra Song: Tantric Painting from Rajasthan. Curators said Tantra is associated with sex in the West, with rock star Sting’s comments about seven-hour lovemaking sessions partly to blame. ... ©The Trustees of the British Museum. Tickets cost £15 and booking ahead is recommended. 2011. What's on Exhibitions Tantra: enlightenment to revolution. Ramos, Imma. The exhibition draws connections with Sufism, a form of Islamic mysticism that possesses similar concepts of self-obliteration through ishq, or divine, fervent love. Good to see that the British Museum has reopened after the Covid19 lockdown. What she calls ‘softcore’ is the disapproving official view in India today- that it’s all symbolic. The exhibition showcases over 100 objects including masterpieces of sculptures, paintings, prints and ritual objects, depicting the history and evolution of tantric philosophy since AD 500 -- when it emerged in India for the first time. 2020. Carrellas, Barbara .2017. British Museum announces new tantra exhibition after five years of research and insists it will be about more than yoga and marathon seven-hour sex sessions Tantra exhibition at the British Museum focuses on themes including well-being It explores female power, gender fluidity, religious pluralism and mindfulness Tantra: Enlightenment To Revolution opens after 5 years of […] We went to the Tantra exhibition. Tantra: enlightenment to revolution, a new exhibition at the British Museum that runs through 24 January 2021, attempts to add nuance and context to Tantra’s Western interpretation through an impressive array of aesthetic and devotional objects spanning over a millennia. This isn’t just erotic art – it’s a religious masterpiece. Electric turquoise and royal blue shroud a warm embryo of fuschia, orange, and yellow, a chromatic apotheosis. Change ), Religion and Collections is dedicated to the care and interpretation of religious collections – in museums, places of worship, faith organisations, schools and elsewhere. It wasn't safe and we left as it was impossible to manage safe distancing. The women delight in the gimmick, giggling while struggling to pronounce ‘yoni puja’ (it’s not particularly non-phonetic). Source material for this can be found earlier in the exhibition. British Museum, LondonEmbraced by the 60s counterculture including the Rolling Stones, the ancient spiritual philosophy of Tantra finds enlightenment not just in sex but death On a stone relief from 11th-century India, a moustached man is enthusiastically pleasuring his lover. ‘Housewives with steak knives’ by Sutapa Biswas is an astonishing image from Bradford of a multi armed young Indian woman on the warpath with white haired head dangling from one hand, steak knife brandished aloft, and intriguingly in another hand a postcard sized image that turns out   to be by Artemisia Gentileschi who famously showed graphic violence to men, having herself suffered at their hands. Just remember to arrange general admission before the allotted time slot to the Tantra exhibition. This is the kind of exhibition the BM can do almost entirely from its own collections and those of     the British Library, but there are some exciting loans here also. The Bloomsbury Companion to Hindu Studies. If you are looking for insights into Sting and Tom Hanks’ favourite love practice you’ll be disappointed because this is more a showcase of the ancient philosophy behind the contemporary practical spin. The Art of Tantra. ‘Tantra: enlightenment to revolution’ exhibition at the British Museum until 24 January 2021 ‘Before you drink from a skull’ said Manisha Ma Bhairavi, ‘you must first find the right corpse.’ That is the arresting start of William Dalrymple’s account of Tantra in his ‘Nine Lives: In search of the sacred in modern India.’ [Dalrymple 2009]… You'd never know we are in the middle of a pandemic. Dalrymple, William. Support tQ's work by becoming a subscriber and enjoy the benefits of bonus essays, podcasts and exclusively-commissioned new music. The Bagri Foundation is pleased to be lead supporter of Tantra: enlightenment to revolution, an exhibition which explores the wider, lesser-known philosophies of this belief system and its impact throughout history. The philosophy then spread throughout Asia by both diplomatic means and pilgrimage, as travellers returned from its eastern Indian epicentre bearing material objects – sculptures, texts, devotional items – that facilitated ideological dissemination, as Tantric schools appeared in China, Tibet, and Japan. Stilte Desember 3, 2020 Desember 3, 2020 As a worldview, philosophy and set of practices, Tantra is as alive as ever. [Rawson 1973, 1973a] In the ground breaking exhibition at the Hayward Gallery ‘In the Image of Man’ in 1982 however Tantra doesn’t figure at all as such although many objects relate to it. To find out more, click here. 2011. British Museum announces new tantra exhibition after five years of research and insists it will be about more than yoga and marathon seven-hour sex sessions Tantra exhibition at the British Museum focuses on themes including well-being It explores female power, gender fluidity, religious pluralism and mindfulness Tantra: Enlightenment To Revolution opens after 5 years of […] Nine Lives: In search of the sacred in modern India. Last Updated 23 January 2020 ... About halfway round the British Museum’s new exhibition is an object that makes me feel very weedy indeed. Tantra: enlightenment to revolution review — sacred sex, subversion and, phew, no sign of Sting British Museum. Tantra exhibition review: An enjoyable journey on the road to enlightenment ... New British Museum exhibition to show Tantra is about more than sex. The British Museum's major exhibition for spring 2020 is devoted to the Tantras, sacred Indian texts from the 6th century that shaped the meditational and devot Tantra’s triumphant feminine power at the British Museum The influential Indian spiritual tradition is celebrated in an exhibition touching on life, sex and death Yet in our age of globalist neoliberalism, given an increasingly conservative, patriarchal Hindu nationalist trajectory in India (set in motion by Britain’s colonial legacy), there’s an overwhelming tone-deafness to the Museum’s assertion that “The rebellious spirit of Tantra remains ripe for the reimagining.” Perhaps it’s unsurprising for an institution that still refuses to repatriate blatant spoils of colonial plunder. Even Mick Jagger was a fan. A philosophy originating in medieval India, Tantra has been linked to successive waves of revolutionary thought, from its sixth-century transformation of Hinduism and Buddhism, to the Indian fight for independence and the rise of 1960s… Tantra first arose around 500 AD, and its core assertion is that the material world is infused with divine feminine power. [Tantra, Arts Council of Great Britain, p.5] Turning now to the ongoing British Museum exhibition, it is largely based on their own collection and a few loan items from other Western collections on Tantra, and seems to be organized without any very significant input from India. The book is dedicated aptly to The Unconsoled. This is the British Museum’s first new show since reopening, and it never ceases to startle. ‘Tantra: enlightenment to revolution’ exhibition at the British Museum until 24 January 2021 ‘Before you drink from a skull’ said Manisha Ma Bhairavi, ‘you must first find the right corpse.’ That is the arresting start of William Dalrymple’s account of Tantra in his ‘Nine Lives: In search of the sacred in modern India.’ [Dalrymple 2009]… There are several prints by Hapshash and the Coloured Coat, a multimedia outfit that created sexual imagery drawing from Tibetan Buddhist yab-yum symbology in service of psychedelic sublimation. Today, 200 years of shifting interpretations have left many misconceptions about what Tantra is, or what it actually involves. There are also court paintings of couples having sex, adorned with jewelry and headdresses on lavish furniture, set against backdrops of rolling, verdant green hills and white-carved buildings. 1982. 1 /8 Tantra: enlightenment to revolution at The British Museum. The British Museum has unveiled plans for a Tantra exhibition – insisting it will be about more than sex and yoga. But can Tantra actually offer its uninformed Western spectant a weapon for praxis, or is it just playing into neo-imperial allure of the exotic? Reclaiming the body from shameful associations is a worthy endeavour, and the urgency of environmental and anti-capitalist activism of course should not be denied. Europe ; United Kingdom (UK) ... Chris W wrote a review Nov 2020. London: Bloomsbury. Whilst the British Museum may seem an unlikely place to hold a Tantra Exhibition, I was impressed with their effort and found the exhibition compelling. 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