"Based upon the poem I wrote of my travels through India and Nepal, 'Shiva Darsan' is as much a video poem and mystic story, as it is an experimental, ethnographic documentary on Hinduism, holy men, spirituality and transcendence. Shiva is the Hindu lord of procreation and death. Darsan is sacred perception. Darsan is as much to see, as it is to be seen by that of the worshipper and the deity, holy person or sacred place. It is as much the spiritual that yields to be grasped, known, touched and experienced, as it is the worshipper who is there to receive the divine. This piece is also a personal reflection on the Shivaratri Festival at Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, Nepal, the birthday celebration of Shiva at one of his most important pilgrimage sites in Asia and at the most sacred of Nepalese shrines. 'Shiva Darsan' the first tape produced for 'In Celebration of Life.... In Celebration of Death...', my series of experimental, ethnographic documentaries shot during my fourteen month sabbatical and Chicago Artists Abroad Artists Residency in Asia, the Mid-East and Africa. This series reveals the religious, cultural and philosophical beliefs of indigenous people from various cultures by exploring their rituals, dance, music and daily activities that revolve around life and death. From birth to death, special rites and celebrations mark the important events of one's existence, assuring a symbiosis of body and soul with the divine. This deep relationship between the people and their gods are reaffirmed through daily activity. At times, the person symbolically becomes god; strengthening their own sense of sacredness and self-respect."--Barbara Sykes
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