Coordinates : 55°00′01″N 3°24′27″W / °N °W / ; -
French philosopher Giles Deleuze is keen to emphasise that Bacon paints heads not faces. Bacon’s project, he says, is to dismantle the face by rubbing or brushing until it loses its form; this enables the rediscovery of the head or makes it emerge from beneath the face (Deleuze 20-21). Deleuze stresses the solitariness and helplessness of the heads: ‘the forces of the cosmos confronting an intergalactic traveller immobile in his capsule’ (58).
1. An excellent essay by Sumit Sarkar, “Hindutva and History,” examines exactly why control over the writing of history is so central to Hindu nationalism.
Total number of pages of Ben Turnbull saying things like “I want women to be dirty” and “We are condemned, men and women, to symbiosis” and “She was a choice cut of meat and I hoped she held out for a fair price” and “The sexual parts are fiends, sacrificing everything to that aching point of contact”: .
Such examples of tolerant collaboration were impressive. Yet they were only one aspect of a more complex picture. Large-scale desecration of Hindu monuments had undoubtedly taken place when Turkish warlords first swept into India in the twelfth century. Indeed several of the first Muslim sultans were energetic iconoclasts and made a point of building their mosques from the rubble of destroyed temples, in some of which you can still see the defaced sculptures of their Hindu predecessors. This iconoclasm continued intermittently as regional sultanates sprang up across India during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. 9
Geometric patterns make up one of the three nonfigural types of decoration in Islamic art, which also include calligraphy and vegetal patterns. Whether isolated or used in combination with nonfigural ornamentation or figural representation, geometric patterns are popularly associated with Islamic art, largely due to their aniconic quality. These abstract designs not only adorn the surfaces of monumental Islamic architecture but also function as the major decorative element on a vast array of objects of all types.