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Peace Out 

Wednesday, Nov 28 2007
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For many, the Dalai Lama is the incarnation of all things good: a veritable bodhisattva of wisdom and compassion, a glowing example of pious living, even in the face of oppression and glossy PR campaigns. No doubt, all the mythology that surrounds the blithesome, flip-flop-wearing monk has made him an easily marketable icon of peace and goodwill. But however he works it, you can't argue that he may be the most effective harbinger of peace around. In fact, he's a subject of a new exhibition, "The Missing Peace: Artists Consider the Dalai Lama." The traveling show, which has stopped in Los Angeles and New York City, has 88 artists from over 30 countries considering the Dalai Lama's modus vivendi of clemency, peace, tolerance, and social justice. The pieces range from a 25-foot long nylon sculpture of a reclining Buddha (Lewis deSoto's Paranirvana) to video installations of the Dalai Lama offering comfort to his flock (Bill Viola's Dalai Lama Delivers Prayers). The exhibit isn't all spirituality and Tibetan singing bowls, however. Many of the pieces are only indirectly related to the Dalai Lama, ranging from explorations of nonviolence to personal accounts of moral discipline. It's a lovely consideration of interconnectedness in the face of struggle and suffering that sums up the Dalai Lama's own idea of enlightenment -- namely, if you have to chase it by trekking the globe, you just aren't getting it. Tonight's opening party includes the global rhythms of Dengue Fever and Non-Stop Bhangra Collective, as well as spa raffles and the opportunity to sip tea blends made especially for the event by Samovar Tea Lounge.
Fri., Nov. 30, 8 p.m.; Dec. 1-March 16, 8 p.m., 2007

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Nirmala Nataraj

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