Ashley Thompson: “Becoming and Unbecoming: Meditations on Gender and Form at Srei Santhor”
Does a stupa have a gender? What about a Buddha statue? Or a termite hill? Are these pre- or post-gender forms? Are there pre- or post-form genders - for example, a queer which would beg some form of formlessness? This talk will probe ways in which the overridingly feminized objects of devotion in the Cambodian region of Srei Santhor invite such questions, nudging us beyond established paradigms of Hindu-Buddhist portraiture dependent upon perception of a productive gap between generic form and individual identity.