ZOOM #2: ARCHETYPES, AESTHETICS, AND AGENCY: ADAT TEXTILES OF EARLY INDONESIAN CULTURES with Thomas Murray
Indonesian textiles are known to convey messages across time and space by means of an archetypal iconography that includes human figures, trees, boats, reptiles, birds and geometric patterns. These encoded images follow ancestral traditions and customary laws known as adat; cloth becomes sacred through a combination of fine spinning, dying, and weaving that creates a sense of aesthetic wonder. And although we cannot hope to be able to decipher those archetypes in terms of the mindset of the weaver's community, anthropologist Alfred Gell gives voice to and validates our own experience that such cloths convey messages of wonder and enchantment to us when viewed here in the West... powerful, visually compelling and meaningful... just not the same meaning as a textile's original context. This lecture will follow the themes presented in Thomas Murray's newly published book, "Textiles of Indonesia," and will focus on some of the finest cloths to come out of the archipelago, presenting each object with impeccable photographs.