FACING THE UNKNOWN IN HUMA BHABHA
Curatorial assistant Ambika Trasi reflects on a favorite work in the Museum’s collection.
It feels impossible to think about the future right now. We seem to be living in an alien world ruled by unknowns, which makes Huma Bhabha’s Untitled feel especially resonant to me at this moment.
While best known for her large-scale sculptures of hybrid beings, Bhabha created Untitled as part of a series of drawings made over photographs she took of deserts and abandoned construction sites in Pakistan. Its perspective foregrounds the feet of an apparently solitary figure, whose stance looks remarkably mighty in spite of the barren landscape and striking red sky in the distance.
Like so many others, I’m overwhelmed by the onslaught of reports of how many we are losing and by all the anticipated futures that have dissolved or mutated. At times, I feel far removed from the familiar, as though I too am looking out at an alien landscape. Yet being in quarantine with family in my hometown has brought me closer to my childhood than I have been in years.
Like one of Bhabha’s beings, I feel paradoxically ancient and young. But each day, I do my best to plant my feet firmly on the ground and take things one step at a time—vulnerable, but valiant in the face of relentless uncertainty.