Date: Tuesday 30th August 2016 to Saturday 24th September 2016, Time: 11 am to 7 pm (closed on Sundays)
In search of lost time
"There are few things humans are more dedicated to than unhappiness,” philosopher Alain de Botton writes in the opening sentence of the intensely rewarding “How Proust Can Change Your Life”. Among the key culprits in our spiritual doldrums, he argues, are “the deadening effects of habit” — something Kierkegaard had also arrived at a century and a half earlier in contemplating our greatest source of unhappiness. Indeed, although habit may be how we give shape to our lives, it can also lull us into a mindless trance in which we glide across the surface of existence.
How Proust can help us snap out of our habitual unhappiness is what De Botton explores in this animated essay chronicling how the events of Proust’s own life translated into the “systematic exploration of the three possible sources of the meaning of life” in his great novel “In Search of Lost Time”.
For Proust, the great artists deserve acclaim because they show us the world in a way that is fresh, appreciative, and alive… The opposite of art, for Proust, is something he calls “habit”. For Proust, much of life is ruined for us by a blanket or shroud of familiarity that descends between us and everything that matters. It dulls our senses and stops us appreciating everything, from the beauty of a sunset to our work and our friends.
States a journalist Maria Popova.
Children don’t suffer from habit, which is why they get excited by some very key, but simple things — like puddles, jumping on the bed, sand, and fresh bread. But we adults get ineluctably spoiled, which is why we seek ever more powerful stimulants, like fame and love.
The trick, in Proust’s eyes, is to recover the powers of appreciation of a child in adulthood, to strip the veil of habit and therefore to start to look upon daily life with a new and more grateful sensitivity.
This, for Proust, is what one group in the population does all the time: artists. Artists are people who strip habit away and return life to its deserved glory.
As a gallerist, I agree that each persons individual uniqueness, individuality, selfness, ipseity and identification come from our individual journeys.
Habit blunts us and makes our thinking narrow.
As with the journey within the art world, artists and my gallery, I discover new insights every time, that keep the child alive in me and in all of us.
Paula, Samanta and Nandini’s chronicles is another refreshing journey.