Depth in Ashliman’s “Dharmabuddhi and Pâpabuddhi”

The concept and perception of depth in art is the ability of a piece of work to explore more than two dimensions. It is the ability of a product of art to interrogate and appeal to more than the visible dimension. It is the ability of the artwork to move in and out of several realms of thought and sight. The extent to which an art world appeals to this aspect determines the quality and persistence of the piece of work.

The depth dimension functions to inspire a since of ambiguity and length to the piece of art (Purves and Lotto p 43-58). It develops and sustains a curious interest in its audience which is the basis and object of quality and objectivity in as far as art is concerns. In photography, for instance the concept of depth is captured by the stability of the photo to tell more than the foreground objects and items. The depth of the photo allows the viewer of the photo to construct and relate the environment and surrounding of the objects in the picture with the circumstance and possible mood and natural environment in which the picture was taken (Stiles and Selz p40-56). The depth in the photo inspires a more realistic and believable concept of the photo.

Tillich’s theory of art embraces this aspect of depth by analyzing the role and relevance of depth in art work. Inspired by the theological mindset and thinking he interrogates the concept of depth in narratives and similar art works and constructs a hypothesis that great art reflects a conscious awareness of the problem associated with the loss of the dimension of depth. I shall interrogate the concept of depth in relation to Ashliman’s narrative “Dharmabuddhi and Pâpabuddhi” (2002) and the extent to which it has been influenced by the dimension of depth.

A considerable amount of attention has been invested in other aspects of art and their relevance to the art fraternity. In particular the narrator field has been seen a considerable number of research and theories that seek to dispose of the factual and structural attributes of a narrative that makes it a good or poor piece of art. However, there has been little attention in the all too new aspect of the depth dimension in art. Since Tillich’s first attempt at this line of thought, there has been very little attention on the issue and this therefore presents an interesting and relevant research gap that I wish to address in my research. I will discuss the importance Tillich’s approach and the relevance it has to various narrator works (Manning p 153 -163).

The narrative is based on a traditional Indian setting that has religious and cultural ties that work in harmony to motivate the behaviors and attitudes of the society. It centers on the values of two men of different moral standing who are involved treachery. The narrative which is part of a series of Indian fables has a limited since of depth and therefore fails to fundamentally capture the reader or listener due to the straightforward since of narration (Goldstein p 120-145).

It however makes attempts to identify with depth by engaging in parables and sayings whose purpose is to diversify the piece to incorporate a variety of other societal conceptions and attributes (Wollheim p 456- 490). The narrative transcends the rural and urban setting placing the story on a path of ambition that carries the objective and main themes. The narrative also merges the cultural and theological realms in creating a perspective to the reader.

The narrator makes a conscious identification of the depth dimension by maintaining a margin of safety between the narrator and the reader or listener and the narrator and the reader’s subconscious. This recognition adds value and importance to the narrative and allows the narrator to leave a memorable impression of the story. This research will therefore seek to determine the value that is attached to the depth dimension in any such given narrative or alternative piece of work.

I shall approach the research from an idealist metaphysical perspective by interrogating the various aspects of the narrative that appeal to the depth dimension. This functions to evaluate the value and importance of the depth dimension and document the extent to which various narrators of the century vividly or actually employed this tool in the formulation and creation of their pieces of work. This will also allow the contemporary narrators to consider employing and exploiting the value of the depth dimension in their art works.

The resarch will employ both primary and secondary sources for referencce and authority in determining a stand on the claim that great art reflects an awareness of the problem associated with the loss of the dimension of depth. The background of the research will be based on the historical antecedent of the use of the depth dimension by various artists. The methodology wil be a qualitative study that wil be analysed and discussed through a stage based approach. The research will also recommend the various pertinend areas that need furtherresearch and make conclusions that modern atrists may adopt to improve the value and quality of their work.

Works Cited

Goldstein, Bruce. Sensation and perception.Pacific Grove CA: Wadsworth. [2002].

This article interrogates the various perceptive abilities and the importance that each dimension has on the individual’s interest and curiosity.

Manning, Russell. Tillich’s Theology of Art. Web.

This article discusses the theory of art as proposed by Tillich based on the theo-cultural stand. It evaluates the relevance weakness and importance of his theory in art analysis and evaluation.

Purves, Dale and Lotto, Beau. Why We See What We Do: An Empirical Theory of Vision. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates. [2003].

This book evaluates the relevance and perspective importance of depth in the person’s receptiveness to art as well as its relevance in the persons appeal.

Stiles, Kristine and Selz Peter, eds., Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art. Berkeley: University of California Press, [1996].

This book documents the various approaches and theoretical claims that have been made for or against various art pieces by contemporary theorists artists and critics of art.

Wollheim, Richard. Art and its objects. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [1980].

This book interrogates the various elements and perspective tools that are employed in art to create the required impression and attention.