CHIMERA: An International Call for Works of Art About Hybrids
The Cincinnati based non-profit arts organization and gallery, Manifest, invites visual artists and designers to submit hybrid works where multiple unrelated elements are combined into one form, practice, or idea to generate a new and compelling whole.
A chimera is a hybrid of disparate parts. Creating a hybrid means being a kind of facilitator, moderating the union of different materials, ideas, or practices. These discrete portions do not dissolve fully into one another, but rather they maintain their integrity while also becoming a whole and new being.
This separate-yet-whole quality is what makes a hybrid fascinating. The uncanniness of a hybrid union can elicit wonder, fear, disgust—it is also representative of equilibrium, innovation, and newness. A cyborg is a hybrid, so is a calico cat, an organ transplant, and an electric vehicle. Great monsters are hybrids, as are fruits, languages, and mixed-use communities. Referring to a new idea as a “hybrid” is often the first way we define it: this-meets-that-meets-this equals the new kind of thing. Understanding the parts help us understand the whole, and hopefully when all goes well the whole ends up being greater than the sum of its originally unrelated parts.
What kind of balance must a hybrid creation strike within itself? What kind of work goes into bringing disparate parts together? And how does this show up in visual art of today?