Art or Image?

Vishwa Adluri at Strand Bookstore

Thu, Apr 25 at 7 p.m.   |   90 minutes

Vishwa Adluri draws parallels from ancient Greek and Indian myth all the way to modern Dada art, in order to see if we can completely rethink the relationship between art and reality.

Beginning at the end, in the long shadows cast by the death of art and the decline of humanities, let's observe and rethink the relationship between art and man. It's a fraught relationship. After introducing himself in the first of the Ten Commandments, god turns against art, at least “graven images” in the second. Today we live in an age where art may be dead, but images rule: it seems both God and man lost the very thing each wanted.

When we talk about art today, the conversation usually revolves around two things: the artist or the art object.
Heidegger says God and man “dwell poetically” in an intelligible space, which we, by valorizing the artist, have shattered. In order to reconsider the ways we speak about and understand art, we'll bring the ancients into conversation with our modern world.


In this Olio, we will trace a path back to Homer and ancient India using the “epic” to interrogate whether art consists of “images” made by human hands, or whether art is something larger, possibly transcendent. We'll reconsider art by thinking about its relationship to us as mortals compared to that which is unconditional. And by focusing on the ancient epics, we will see how such a relationship can be recontextualized.

To round the discussion out, we'll bring the conversation back into the modern sphere by looking at contemporary artists such as Marcel Duchamp. Our goal is to rethink the relationship of art and image and ultimately inquire into the nature of reality by putting moderns in dialogue with the ancients.

Teacher: Vishwa Adluri

Vishwa holds PhDs from the New School and University of Marburg, Germany. He recently published 'The Nay Science' and is the author of many books and articles. Dr. Adluri teaches courses on: Approaches to Religion, Indian Philosophy, Christian Theology, Mysticism, Hinduism, art history and The Religious Meaning of Death. He has been thinking about Space, Time, and Death since he was 5.


Venue: Strand Bookstore

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Think Olio is here to put the liberation back into the liberal arts.

Classically, the liberal arts, were the education considered essential for a free person to take an active part in civic life. To counter a humanities that has been institutionalized and dehumanized we infuse critical thinking, openness, playfulness, and compassion into our learning experience.

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Liaisons Host an Olio

Olio: A miscellaneous collection of art and literature.