Working interdisciplinary, Biba Esaad roots her practice in an exploration of an imagined queer future whereby embodied oppressions can be transcended. The cyborg aims to surpass the limitations of an alienating present, coding itself as a kind of disassembled; reassembled postmodern being. By acknowledging the body as the site at which racialized people navigate trauma and otherness, the figure of the cyborg comes to represent a site of possible being and thus, a utopian place of imagined existence.
My work takes form under the guise of the cyborg body - the hybrid body - the site of possible being. Whether it be in painting, in styling or in textile and paper making, these ideas are intricately thread. There are a lot of parallels that can be drawn between pharaonic bodies akin to Ancient Egypt and the idea of the cyborg body. A pharoah can adorn the wings of a bird, the body of a human and the senses of a cat. Why can’t a human carry those same secrets?
I’m used to working with trash. There’s a different kind of beauty that emerges in primal, nonsensical materials. In papermaking, I often take old prints and drawings of mine, destroy them, press them into a new sheet with handmade dyes, make an artwork on that sheet, hate it, destroy it, you get the cycle. I hate sculpture, unless I’m draping a model or blocking a figure into paint. I guess I like to look at the body as a sculpture to be adorned, secretly placing in an old clip from my grandmother, taping together two shoes like when I was a child and wanted to reach a top shelf. It’s absolutely a narrative in details.