Habits of burrowing, timekeeping and other lessons from anthills, water snakes and kitchen tigers – Workshop
This workshop by artist Zarina Muhammad is an invitation to reflect on the ways we might have re-established notions of habitat, routine, safety, belonging and isolation, alongside ways we have marked and measured time in the last 365 days. What new habits have been cultivated? What kind of reconfigured calendrical systems and modes of living, surviving and thriving have we created? Which aspects of the human-centred ‘ new world order’ have you mechanically and methodically internalised till now? What have you attempted to unlearn, unravel, redo? This workshop is an invitation to share on what has felt discordant to our senses in recent times, and to meander through the homely and strange, uninhabitable, the otherworlds and more than human worlds that we share habits and habitats with.
Zarina Muhammad is a Singapore-based artist, educator and researcher whose practice is deeply entwined with a critical re-examination of oral histories, ethnographic literature and other historiographic accounts about Southeast Asia. Working at the intersections of performance, mixed media installation, text, ritual, sound and moving image, she is interested in the broader contexts of myth-making, haunted historiographies and role of the artist as “cultural ventriloquist” who lends multiple voices to spectral matters and speculative polyphonic histories. She is particularly interested in the imaginings and understandings pertaining to the land, seas and other elemental sites. She has been working on a long-term project on Southeast Asia’s provisional relationship to the otherworldly, ritual magic and the immaterial against the dynamics of global modernity and the social production of rationality. She is ever so amused when superficial readings of her work predictably and blandly assume all she does is “do black magic in exhibition spaces” and “open portals to invoke unholy evil spirits”.