Volume 91, Issue 83

Friday, March 6, 1998

100 bottles of beer


Spicy speakers strut their stuff

By Mark Lewandowski
Gazette Staff

This week the Western community will be blessed with an influx of art in the form of two diverse guest speakers. The presentations will have an international flavour as the poet Nick D. Vladulescu is of Romanian descent while Sehdeu Kumar spent his formative years in India.

A Romanian by birth, Vladulesco prefers to distance himself from cultural categorization. "[One] should keep the past in the past and enjoy life in the present," Vladulesco states, distinguishing his poetry as a statement of his present life. But don't expect just a couple of poems on Monday at 7 p.m. in Rm. 249 of the Visual Arts Building, which the title of the readings, "At Absolute Zero," clarifies.

"Absolute Zero is complete nothingness, a sense of no return," Vladulescu warns. "It is a liberation. Instead of killing people, I [express myself] through poetry." Everybody needs a hobby and luckily Vladulescu chose poetry, or rather "poetry in colour," as he calls it.

The slides presented during the readings have a spiritual, rather than a physical connection with the poetry. The meaning is in the colour and this spiritual connection, Vladulescu says.

"As a poet, he really has something to say; a poet is more sensitive to the future than a scientist," theorizes Ralph Giovinazzo, a fellow artist and the organizer of the presentations.

Before Kumar became a professor at the University of Toronto he spent 21 years living in India so he has first-hand experience concerning his subject matter.

"India has always had a special mystique. When Columbus sailed for the New World he was just sailing to India – that is why [natives] are called Indians," Kumar says. In retrospect, an obvious point often overlooked. So what would Columbus have discovered if he had sailed to India?

"Indian art and architecture is heavily influenced by religion, especially Hinduism and Buddhism, which both originated in India," Kumar confides – a point he would reiterate many times in his dissertation on the nation's art.

The presentation, titled "5,000 Years of Indian Art and Architecture," will span the whole gamut, but focus on the years between 5-20 A.D. because "that's when the most art occurred," Kumar says.

"There is something very new going on in India right now as over half of the population is 18 or younger," he adds.

"One of the major differences between Indian and Western art is that Indian art has had secular influences for only the last 120 years. The artists of today are using the older influences again but in a new way."

Kumar will lecture on Wednesday in the Visual Arts Building at 7 p.m. in Rm. 249.

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department: gazent@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998