«Pests» Often repudiated, overlooked or neglected by the self-proclaimed superior human, a species that designates, labels and operates anthropocentrically, perhaps anthropocentrically ignoring the vehement irony behind some of those designations and labels.
Performance Lecture Trailer
Welcome to "Unlovable Species" - a thought-provoking project that delves into the intricate dynamics of power relationships and challenges the narrow lens of anthropocentrism. Exhibited at Cromwell Place in London in March 2022, this project seeks to navigate and reshape our coexistence with other beings, both human and non-human. By reimagining the narratives that shape our understanding of the world, "Unlovable Species" urges us to question the prevailing hierarchy that determines which species hold value, desirability, and legitimacy.
In this exploration, pests, particularly cockroaches, take center stage as symbolic subjects of investigation. Their societal designation as undesirable beings is reframed in "Unlovable Species" as unlovability. This transformation imbues cockroaches with a potent metaphorical power, forcing us to confront the uncomfortable, messy, and complex aspects of empathy, ethics, and contradiction. Through this lens, a fertile terrain of inquiry emerges, urging us to reevaluate our relationship with these seemingly repulsive creatures.
Making "Unlovable Species"
Since November 2021, I have been living with two Blaptica Dubia cockroaches, and the lessons they have taught me are immeasurable. These humble creatures exhibit fear, protect one another, and display an unexpected affinity for...oranges! Over time, what initially repulsed me slowly evolved into something resembling affection - a genuine sense of lovability.
However, as is often the case with the human species, my presence was just as undesirable to them as theirs is to us. This realization prompts us to ask: Can we intra-act differently? Can we engage with these beings in a diffractive manner, transcending the limitations of our anthropocentric approach? If touch, the foundation of familiarity, is not welcomed, how can we acknowledge their legitimate presence while being absent? How can we amplify their voices, which have been silenced for so long, while tempering our own?
"Unlovable Species" invites you to embark on a profound journey of reflection and transformation. It encourages us to challenge our preconceived notions, open our minds to the richness of diversity, and embrace the urgency of questioning our species' assumed authority. By doing so, we strive to foster a world that honors the inherent value of all species, including our own, and redefines our understanding of coexistence.
Join us as we unravel the complexities of power, ethics, and compassion, discovering the unexpected beauty and significance that lies within the unlovable. Together, let's transcend the boundaries of perception and build a future that embraces the legitimacy and worth of all species, no matter how unassuming or overlooked they may seem.