An Itinerant Bestiary, 2021
Through “An Itinerant Bestiary” we aim to construct a speculative framework for a post-national imaginary rooted in unresolved narratives of resistance and on decolonization as a continuous process. It seeks to imagine forms of governance and sovereignty that are attuned to the nature-cultures of these geographies and challenge the inherited and inherent hierarchies of nation-state based models.
The installation itself takes the form of 20 flags that pierce violently into the earth at jagged angles, creating a seemingly haunted atmosphere of unresolved contestations. Alluding to the history of the region, this form is reminiscent of supra-national initiatives such as at the Bandung Conference, and brings to mind the manners in which such seemingly-idealistical but statist decolonial exercises produced subsequent histories of violence and oppression. It reminds us of the many ways in which nation states weaponize ideas of national unity to continuously impoverish those at the margins, often through brutal military occupations. These other and often dismissed forms of agencies are displayed on the flags draw on figures such as weretigers and manananggals, as well opium, and plant species, and symbols of resistance, allowing us other ways to think through and from these territories.
Featured in Sea Art Festival 2021 of the Busan Biennale.
Created in collaboration with The Forest Curriculum.
Text by Abhijan Toto, the founder and curator of The Forest Curriculum.