In the past year, few could have predicted the length of days we would be spending indoors. Work and leisure condensed into a single space, while the social markers we’ve cultivated dropped away one by one— early morning routines, office attires, after-work socialization with colleagues. All the automatic motions and labels, the tics and things. Gone are these bits and pieces we clung to that shaped our identities or placed us within the social hierarchies of our period.
Pin Calacal paints a world of dogs and cacti, quaint markers of domesticity in a time of the pandemic, as we find ourselves shuttered within the walls of our houses. They exist in unknown spaces, against backdrops of color that offer little context. Calacal regards both plant and animal as twin sources of solace and burden. On one hand, the comfort of companionship and the cultivation of life. On the other, the traces of animality and wilderness, the call of the outdoors. Every so often, human parts appear, growing thorns or coexisting with bodies of fur. Here then is a blurring of the form defined by the boundaries of our skin, a muddling of demarcations of humanness. Corralled indoors, how are we changing?
In our history, never before has our species been so mobile, so capable of travelling vast distances in short durations. As such, the current situation feels anachronistic, a temporal void, a crippling aberration. Unmoving, we find ourselves quivering on edge. Our senses are viscerally heightened by a quiet danger, while on the horizon, a sense of loss that seems boundless. And as we pace back and forth within the confines of our rooms, the lure of the outside, the longing to roam, feels ever greater.
— JC Rosette