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Holy Wear - Essay Example

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The word “sacred” envisages meanings that are hard to define and it encompasses many connotations that go beyond the traditional concepts of temples, mosques or churches to embrace notions such as holiness that stands out from “commonplace and interrupt routine” (Park…
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Holy Wear
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Holy Wear

Download file to see previous pages... ated places that the believers in the faith consider as sacred, such as Gaya in Buddhism, Kasi in Hindu religion, Mecca and Medina in Islam and Jerusalem in Christianity. Conventional philosophy believes that sacred or holy things exude “potent meanings and significances” to believers and the presence of such things offers some “inherent benefits” (23). On the other hand, the postmodern view on the sacred deviate drastically from the traditional view, which contends that the meanings to the holy are not inherent but attributed by the believers as an outcome of their “cultural practice” (23). It, therefore, transpires that illogical or irrational notions such as sacred derive from communal and social practices of certain dominant cultures like Greek civilization as well as the customs being followed within various religions.
My photographic project called “Holy Wear” incorporates the philosophy of Roland Barthes, which identifies culture as the “contract arrived at” between the creators of art and its consumers (Barthes 1981:27). In this context, the photograph of the monk illustrates the Lama culture and imbibes in the viewers a sense of holyness in his attire, which represents sacredness for the believers in Buddhist religion. Thus, irrespective of logic or rationality, the audience of the photo associate holynesss to the clothes worn by the monk because the cultural practices have informed them that the attire of the monk is a “Holy Wear.” Similarly, the attire and appearance of the Hindu saint will inspire awe and a sense of holiness in people practicing Hindu religion or those who understand various cultural nuances relating to that religion. Therefore, it can be construed that the emotions and sensations that these photographs emulate derive not from any logic or rational appreciation of the meaning of sacred or holy but due to the association of the images to various cultural practices. The photographs also validate Barthes’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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