I doodle, I dance, I collect straight sticks, I measure my brainwaves, I explore ‘free time’, I grow slime moulds and sculpt bioplastics: my art practice is a metaphysical goo seeping out somehow, and shaping itself across my works. This is what happens:
Often, something as simple as observing another’s hands, as they work or speak, can feel like a glimpse of the miraculous glinting in between what I recognise in the gesture, and what I can’t fathom from such sensual animation. There is an uncanniness to this moment, the feeling that beyond what is visible, ‘retinal’, exists a dimension that although inaccessible to observation, is forever inundating the manifest ‘physical-materialist’ world. I feel this nonhuman dimension in my body, I am immersed in it and inhabited by it. The feeling that ‘my body is not really my body’ drives this radical curiosity about matter. I have not yet reached the point of proof, where all this stuff seems ‘normal’ to me.
As ‘an entity of somewhat complex origins’ I take a marginal position that allows for an openness to what is outside the mainstream human spotlight: on the edge is a ‘space of the nameless’ teeming with more-than-human liveness. Namelessness results from necessity: having ‘complex origins’, ‘home’ for me is neither national, nor cultural, only felt and fleshy, and spiritual. I am guided by the Eastern traditions of philosophy-by-practice — contemplation, meditation and movement — an inheritance from my ancestors. My lived experience of African and Asian animism, in Zimbabwe and Japan, respectively, are the sensuous threads of land that convinced me of an expanded field of agency right here on earth. Weaving this complex fabric, is my ‘woman’s work’, informing a poetics of activism with the porous voice of the skin, at the threshold between polarities.
My imagery often borrows from consumer culture in order to warp its tactics of affect and desire. In contrast to the imperatives of growth and its inhuman(e), ‘ecocidally’ ruthless speeds, I compose rhythmic fields that introduce a languid ontology of unpredictable tempos, attuned to ecologies beyond cognition. Those interacting with my works often remark that they also experience a glitch in their everyday rhythm, like a visceral wobbling that awakens gut-feeling and intuition. I actively pursue this creepy vibration, both in making and presenting my work, because from this altered state comes ‘the (re)turn to the miraculous’.
© Dominique Bonarjee