Hybrid Being 2 : Proshitabhartruka nayika and The Bengal Florican
37 x 40 cm
Watercolor and Gouache on Paper
This painting narrates a story about the relationship between Proshitabhartruka nayika and The Bengal Florican.
Her face is consciously metamorphosed with The Bengal Florican, the now critically endangered bird. She is writing a letter to her lover who has gone far away while searching her lover on the flying carpet.
The work proposes new forms of social relationships between humans and endangered birds, as well as rethink the notions of identity and dependency. Here the endangered bird becomes the hero, replacing the male patriarchal figure. Threaded throughout are revelations of sexuality, fecundity, kinship, and freedom. Searching forms for relationality, reciprocity and mutuality within natural, ancestral and human worlds, I wonder what happens when boundaries between human and non-human worlds intersect?
These intimate paintings become personal totems that propose philosophical romantic relationships between humankind and ecology as a way to mourn for what is on the verge of getting lost.
About: Hybrid Beings
These works aim to decolonize women’s bodies and the sovereignty of nature. To envision new ontological entanglements it intersects boundaries of speculative fiction, archetypal allegories, and precarious ecologies.
The paintings below propose a number of situations and stories to imagine forms of relationality and mutuality between bird species (both endangered and extinct) and selected heroines who belong to the Ashta-Nayika [Natyashastra, c. 2nd B.C]: a collective term for eight heroines, each of whom represents different states in relationship to her hero resulting in hybrid beings(they/them). These hybrid beings operate on different layers of interpretation. The hybrid beings respond to the ecological grief and loneliness by postulating a queer ecology where the endangered bird becomes the hero, replacing the male patriarchal figure from the context of Ashta-Nayika.
The Hybrid Beings generate hope and care to cultivate the capacity to reimagine a future for the marginalized and silenced. They speculate on near futures and rethink the notions of identity and interdependency. The hybrid beings become a window to peek into future and past animals (beings)(myths) that have gone extinct with the evolution and those that are yet to evolve either naturally or with bio-geo-hacking of present-day technology. They stitch together improbable collaborations between humans and more-than-humans, making way for kinship. Hybrid Beings push back against the centering of the human and move toward thinking that eradicates the hierarchy of being and challenges the life/non-life binary. They make way for an ontological pursuit of what it means to be human, what it means to be non-human, and where these categories rupture and collide.
These hybrid beings open up possibilities for a post-queer and post-human world where species move away from questions of identity, recognition, or representation towards an uncanny kind of becoming.
The situations and stories in these works evoke imagination in the viewer’s mind to remember the forgotten notions of care and symbiosis.