Tantra: Enlightenment to Revolution The British Museum, London, 24 September — 24 January 2021. 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 […] It ranges from stone friezes of Durga slaughtering the buffalo demon Mahisha, thought to provide rulers with similar battlefield success, to more modern works, like Sutapa Biswas’s Housewives with Steak-Knives, a 1985 painting of a goddess Kali dressed in a printed tunic, her body unconventionally naturalistic. A Tantra exhibition is set to open at the British Museum and promises to 'be about more than just sex and yoga.' What she calls ‘softcore’ is the disapproving official view in India today- that it’s all symbolic. Inside religious practice, Tantra has inspired many people to a certain style of greatness. The exhibition begins with a subtle nod to Mick Jagger [the iconic red tongue is Kali’s] and ends with the era of flower power- the Coltranes, Allen Ginsberg- and contemporary women artists all responding to Tantra. [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. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. British Museum British Museum exhibition to challenge 'salacious stereotypes' around Tantra. Emeryville, CA: Ten Speed Press. London: Bloomsbury. 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. The texts are exemplary and the selection visual rather than archaeological. Ever since Sting boasted that he could go for “four or five hours” by practising tantric sex, the Indian philosophy has been linked with amorous pop stars.The British Museum gave the musician a ( Log Out /  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. 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… ( Log Out /  2009. The Bloomsbury Companion to Hindu Studies. Exploring the art of Tantra today In this discussion led by the Royal College of Art's Rebecca Heald, hear contemporary artists explore the influence of Tantra in their work. [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. 2004. Review ‘Going with the flow’ TLS May 21. Buy. You can see the appeal. £35.00. 27 Aug 2020 - 12 Jan 2021 Find out more about Edmund de Waal: library of exile London: Bloomsbury. The British Museum has reopened with a very interesting exhibition about Tantra. 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. To find out more, click here. The myth of Bhairava . [Doniger 2004] She discusses Tantra and related sects at greater length in The Hindus: an alternative history. 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 […] An early ‘Tantra’ from Nepal. Last Updated 23 January 2020 The British Museum: fantastic - See 72,633 traveler reviews, 37,869 candid photos, and great deals for London, UK, at Tripadvisor. 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.. Tantra: enlightenment to revolution review — sacred sex, subversion and, phew, no sign of Sting British Museum. Catskill, NY: Siglio Press. Reviewed 4 weeks ago . London: Thames and Hudson. Tantra: enlightenment to revolution. Chakrasamvara (Wheel of Bliss) Tantra, India, AD 700–800 . Steps outside the exhibition, trinkets ‘made in India,’ perfumed candles, and dyed tote bags are for sale, intimations of our answer. Instead, it asserts that women embody Shakti, the energy that comprises the entire universe. Electric turquoise and royal blue shroud a warm embryo of fuschia, orange, and yellow, a chromatic apotheosis. This is my exhibition review of Tantra: enlightenment to revolution, at the British Museum. Tantra (British Museum) enlightenment to revolution Imma Ramos. £35.00. Tantra exhibition review: An enjoyable journey towards enlightenment. The British Museum has reopened with a very interesting exhibition about Tantra. Just remember to arrange general admission before the allotted time slot to the Tantra exhibition. Tantra (British Museum) enlightenment to revolution Imma Ramos. Tantra at the British Museum A short review of the exhibition 'Tantra: enlightenment to revolution' which is currently on at the British Museum. 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. This isn’t just erotic art – it’s a religious masterpiece. The goddess’s neck is adorned with a garland bearing the heads of dictators. 2011. A radical philosophy that transformed the religious, cultural, and political landscape of India and beyond is explored in a landmark new exhibition at 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. Dimensions: 2450mm x 2220mm. 2011. 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 hasn’t lost its appeal either to downtrodden women or western orientalism. © The Syndics of Cambridge University Library. 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. ... to the check in crew for not only the main admission but also the special Tantra exhibition. ... ©The Trustees of the British Museum. Chapter 15. 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”. If you love what we do, you can help tQ to continue bringing you the best in cultural criticism and new music by joining one of our subscription tiers. Tantra – the Indian cult of ecstasy. 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. London: Thames and Hudson. The British Museum has unveiled plans for a Tantra exhibition – insisting it will be about more than sex and yoga. Tantra today. Exhibition Reviews Kyoto to Catwalk at the Victoria & Albert Museum. ©The Trustees of the British Museum. 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. Ask Sian248 about The British Museum. Explore the radical force that transformed the religious, cultural and political landscape of India and beyond in this landmark exhibition. The exhibition draws connections with Sufism, a form of Islamic mysticism that possesses similar concepts of self-obliteration through ishq, or divine, fervent love. Each woman stands naked in a wooden cubicle with nothing but a hand mirror, as an intimacy coach encourages the group to examine their vaginas, to vocally observe what they see before painting them. Tiny manuscript images are kept to a minimum. ‘Tantra: enlightenment to revolution’ exhibition at the British Museum until 24 January 2021. 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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. It is not all about sex, but predictably, it is a lot about sex. Tantra set out to shock and to offend the prudish, the powerful and conservative, and continues to do so. Tantra at the British Museum . The book is dedicated aptly to The Unconsoled. Chakrasamvara (Wheel of Bliss) Tantra, India, AD 700–800 . This is an art of shock and awe, of violence, bloodshed and ecstatic laughter. Tantra: enlightenment to revolution review — sacred sex, subversion and, phew, no sign of Sting British Museum. ... ©The Trustees of the British Museum. Tantra first arose around 500 AD, and its core assertion is that the material world is infused with divine feminine power. There is an essential ambiguity also about gender at the heart of Tantra: men made much of the art and wrote many of the texts; they worship Tantric goddesses yet clearly and not surprisingly can also feel threatened by Tantra and its potential for powerful women in everyday life, not least their own homes, especially when wielding steak knives and supported by yoginis and the reassurance of goddesses like Kali and Durga, triumphing where male gods had failed. Carrellas, Barbara .2017. 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. ‘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]… The tradition of Tantra, as we learn from a newly opened exhibition at the British Museum (until 24 January 2021), has always been transgressive. Let’s get one thing straight — it’s not all about sex. Print depicting the goddess Kali, Calcutta Art Studio, Kolkata (Bengal, India), about 1885–95. DHA have recently completed work on the British Museum’s latest exhibition – Tantra: enlightenment to revolution. British Museum has announced new exhibition 'Tantra: enlightenment to revolution'! The Art of Tantra. Date of experience: October 2020. The women delight in the gimmick, giggling while struggling to pronounce ‘yoni puja’ (it’s not particularly non-phonetic). 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. Today, 200 years of shifting interpretations have left many misconceptions about what Tantra is, or what it actually involves. 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? The aesthetics of Tantra mirror this celebration of the flesh. … [Doniger 2009] Her revisionism is put in context in Frazier 2011:224-6 for example. Rawson, Philip. The ego needs to be trampled underfoot. The exhibition -- Tantra: enlightenment to revolution -- is scheduled to take place at the British Museum from September 24, 2020, till January 24, 2021. The British Museum, London: Hours, Address, The British Museum Reviews: 4.5/5. Doniger, Wendy. The equally brutal sculpture next to it ‘And all the while the benevolent slept’, 2008, by Bharti Kher shows a female figure holding her severed head with stylised blood spouting from her neck. Curated by Imma Ramos. ©The Trustees of the British Museum. Doniger, Wendy.2009. Tantra exhibition review: An enjoyable journey on the road to enlightenment ... New British Museum exhibition to show Tantra is about more than sex. One of the many achievements of exhibition, book and online resources is to acknowledge the controversy around Tantra but to move rapidly on and concentrate on what is a highly demanding task – presenting a phenomenon which has so many particularly western layers of prejudice, over excitement and ignorance to unpeel. In between we are taken by the hand and led through a potentially overwhelming thicket of ideas practice and imagery; and we glimpse the spread of Tantra across Asia in Tibet and Japan. 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. 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. 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.”. The British Museum 4 Sep 2020–24 Jan 2021. Change ), Religion and Collections is dedicated to the care and interpretation of religious collections – in museums, places of worship, faith organisations, schools and elsewhere. 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. Michell, George et al. by alixgeddes 15th Oct 2020 14th Oct 2020. It wasn't safe and we left as it was impossible to manage safe distancing. In the Image of Man. 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 Only the ground floor open and a signposted route to follow. 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. ‘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. [Michell et al, 1982] Indefatigable and controversial Hinduist Wendy Doniger characterises writers like Rawson and David Gordon White as ‘hard core’ believing that what is described in texts and art actually happened whether involving corpses, ashes, bodily fluids or endless ecstatic sex. She studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London 1999-2003 and at the Royal Academy Schools London 2004-06. 1982. You need to pre book a ticket-easy as website works smoothly Take care to arrive at the allocated time- then entry is smooth and easy. 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… Please review and manage your cookie settings. 1 /8 Tantra: enlightenment to revolution at The British Museum. You can see the appeal. London: Penguin. Europe ; United Kingdom (UK) ... Chris W wrote a review Nov 2020. Urban Tantra: Sacred Sex for the Twenty-First Century. As a worldview, philosophy and set of practices, Tantra is as alive as ever. Stilte Desember 3, 2020 Desember 3, 2020 Dalrymple, William. 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. The iconography of Hindu goddesses makes these political connections explicit and is featured prominently throughout the show. This is the British Museum’s first new show since reopening, and it never ceases to startle. ©The Trustees of the British Museum. To find out more, click here. 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. Both exhibition and the associated publication by curator Imma Ramos [Ramos 2020] aim to ‘offer new insights into a philosophy that has captured our imagination for more than a millennium.’ She succeeds admirably in addressing an unruly subject in a fairly cramped space, where less is usually more, and at greater length in the profusely illustrated book. ( Log Out /  All rights reserved, DACS 2019, At the end of the first season of Netflix’s raunchy reality series Too Hot to Handle, which saw attractive singles living in a beachside Mexican resort attempt the purportedly herculean task of restraining their sexual impulses to win a $100,000 cash prize, the six final women participate in a ‘yoni puja’ workshop. It’s especially rewarding to see many familiar pieces from the BM’s Hotung Gallery displays retagged and juxtaposed here. The British Museum 4 Sep 2020–24 Jan 2021. 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. The Hindus: an alternative history. It is the very first time the British Museum – which houses one of the biggest and most comprehensive collections of Tantric material in the world – will explore this subject in an exhibition. Rachel Campbell ... cultural and political establishments that this exhibition charts. 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 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. A British artist of Balinese descent, Sinta Tantra was born in New York in 1979. 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]. Tantra encourages veneration of the body in its many forms and states, often incorporating matter that might otherwise be considered taboo: alcohol, bhang, sexual fluids, blood, human remains. Tantra is not independent of Hinduism and Buddhism but has pervaded and transformed both traditions from its inception. In the 1960s, artists and musicians did draw from Tantric philosophy through the free love movement, anti-capitalist activism, and environmentalist fervor. Tantra exhibition review: An enjoyable journey on the road to enlightenment. Nine Lives: In search of the sacred in modern India. Support tQ's work by becoming a subscriber and enjoy the benefits of bonus essays, podcasts and exclusively-commissioned new music. From the press release for the exhibition: Tantra: Enlightenment to Revolution The British Museum, London, 24 September -- 24 January 2021 Curated by Imma Ramos A radical philosophy that transformed the religious, cultural, and political landscape of India and beyond is explored in a landmark new exhibition at the British Museum. Jamme, Franck Andre. 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? 21 Jan 2021 Frazier, Jessica [ed.]. Venice, Italy 409 contributions 180 helpful votes. 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. But the exhibition’s underlying promotion of Tantra’s contemporary promise betrays a circular irony, fraught with its premise of redressing the philosophy’s twentieth-century orientalist misunderstanding. Tantra figured strongly in the counter cultures of the 60s and in exhibitions like that created by Philip Rawson at the Hayward Gallery in 1971 and expanded in his books in 1973. He and Kali combine in Tantra: she is often astride his inert form as in the exhibition image. Supported by the Bagri Foundation, Tantra: enlightenment to revolution (April 23 to July 26, 2020) will chart the rise and spread of Tantra, a set of beliefs and rituals that first emerged in India around AD 500. 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