In the objectification of Sambrani or benzoin, a product of the forests, the work evaluates the sudden revocation of a tribe’s ability to articulate their identities derived from geography, from professions and access to spiritual reserves. In trying out new identities, the collective tribe and the individual tribal both face the trauma from and burden of originality, with often catastrophic consequences.
Sambrani, a product as ephemeral as modern identities and symbolic of solastalgia, has undergone a change in its object freedom from a commonly collected produce to now being illegal and harvested only from farmed styrax trees.
Through the Forest Object, we contemplate the unstable nature of the hyper-local migrant, the frequent oscillation between memories, identities and geographies – both physical and of the mind.
Forest Object was exhibited in the group show All of the Above, None of the Above, curated by Gitanjali Dang at Melahuset, Oslo, Norway between October and November 2017.