«To be “unhomed” – says the postcolonial theorist Homi K.Bhabha, – is not to be homeless, but rather to escape easy assimilation or accommodation». In parallel to the psychoanalytical term the Uncanny the concept may be linked to something familiar that has been twisted and therefore become alien and frightful. A hybrid state that cannot easily be defined. Bhabha describes it as condition of being at home, but you don’t feel at home since you don’t know yourself. In the same mode the borders between private and public spheres are disintegrating.
The exhibition Unhomed also engages with how our bodily experiences inform and transform the city, our physical and mental presence adding new layers of understanding. Skin and synapses meet bodies of buildings made up of concrete, wood or bricks. New dimensions of tactility are added. Architectural elements and patterns are embedded with memories. As the cities change, new layers of interpretation appear. In Lap-See Lams artwork Beyond Between, a roof in Chinese pagoda style appears in the exhibition as a phantom image through the use of new 3d laser scanning technique. Shakuntala Kulkarnis performative artwork Of Bodies Armour and Cages explores and develops traditional cane craft that is used in ornamental sculptures and Sirous Namazis multiplies floor plans into a wooden mandala patterns in the artwork Metropolis.
The artworks in the exhibition span from geopolitical structures and urban development to intimate narratives of physical vulnerability. Through the mediums of performative actions and moving images and sculpture the artworks destabilise the notion of identity and what is to be considered a national or personal ”home.” The concept Unhomed is also quoted from the poetic work of Shilpa Gupta Words come from Ears. In this context the word is entangled with experiences of migration and movement. A global condition where inner and outer boundaries are crossed.
Shahram Khosravi, professor at Stockholm university contributes with the essay Border Conversations. Impossibility of Home in connection to the exhibition, where he suggests ”What we need is radical homelessness”.