10/3/17: SMALL, VERY SMALL SHOP OPENING AT THE ICA IN LONDON. GRAB IT WHILE YOU CAN HERE. EVERYTHING ON THIS SITE IS NOT FOR SALE AND IS PART OF AN ARCHIVE. INTERESTED IN THE ARCHIVE, THE WHOLE THING? WRITE US AT INFO@KIOSKKIOSK.COM. THANKS.
When I started writing this text I wrote, as a joke, that based on the maker's demonstration I have no idea if this is a fly swatter or a religious artifact and oddly enough, with some research, I found out it is actually both. Hindu, Daoist and Buddhist deities are commonly depicted with fly whisks. Shiva, the destroyer, himself is often shown holding one in Indonesian art. While at the Meenakshi Temple in Madurai, we experienced a fantastic event where, following tradition, Shiva is brought from his abode to Meenaskshi's shrine to consummate their union every evening. Her diamond nose ring is taken out when they are united to make sure the couple experiences no harm during their love making session. Practical. During the ceremony, to distribute the smoke from the burning incense, a priest was continuously spinning what I now realize was a fly whisk. Does the activity at the temple with the fly whisk and the fact that Shiva is often depicted holding one in Indonesian art signify anything? I need to look into this to determine, however, what I have found is Indian traditions have so many layers - after all, they have been developed over not hundreds and hundreds of years, but thousands and thousands.