• Ideas
  • Dec 11, 2020

A Clash Of Civilizations: Interview With Huma Bhabha

Portrait of HUMA BHABHA. Photo by Elyse Benenson. Courtesy Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead. 

Huma Bhabha has a knack for commanding a room. Her anthropomorphic sculptures hold a heavy presence, their unwieldy bodies—composites of rudimentary materials including Styrofoam, cork, and wood—are scarred and scorched. Some feature sooty marks, while deep gauges are found in others. Like survivors rising from a dramatic tragedy, their ragged appearance does not evoke fragility, but rather defiance; their monumentalism stirs reverence, not pity. The ghoulish faces of these forms are reflected in Bhabha’s drawings and collages on paper. Submerged in a maelstrom of color or obscured by billows of dark pigment, they seethe with energy. These aspects of her practice as well as photogravure prints of desolate landscapes doctored with whisps of Indian ink are brought together for the artist’s survey at Gateshead’s Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, “Against Time.”