Friday, August 9, 2013

Themes of themes of migration and transformation explored

Artist Rina Banerjee’s new work created specifically for the Sackler Gallery pavilion in Washington, D.C. is inspired by the great rivers of Asia. Here's a glance at the works and the artist's concerns that shape them:
  • Revolving around themes of migration and transformation, the intriguing installation’s lengthy title conveys the sense of a long journey…“A world Lost: after the original island, single land mass fractured, after populations migrated, after pollution revealed itself and as cultural locations once separated merged, after the splitting of Adam and Eve, of race black and white, of culture East and West, after animals diminished, after the seas’ corals did exterminate, after this and at last imagine water evaporated...this after Columbus found it we lost it imagine this.
  • Born in India and based in New York City, artist Rina Banerjee (b. 1963) draws on her background as a scientist and her experience as an immigrant. Her richly textured works complicate the role of objects as representations of cultures and invite viewers to share her fascination in materials. By juxtaposing organic and plastic objects—such as combining ornate textiles and animal forms with tourist souvenirs—she concocts fairytale worlds that are both enticing and subtly menacing.
  • Rina Banerjee’s sculptural assemblages at are fantastic combinations of materials she sources in New York junk shops - textiles, clothing, antique furnishings, taxidermy animals etc- that are configured into new and exotic arrangements. Using a visual language steeped in fairytales and mythology, and a similarly diverse range of objects, she presents a series of recent wall-based sculptures.
  • Informed by this singular background, her work tends to articulate a unique synthesis of mythologies and religions, anthropology and fairytales, exoticism and mass tourism. Challenging the order of the world in an explosive mix of imagination and materials, her delicate yet danger-tinged work gives rise to creatures that are constantly mutating, and sometimes monstrous, like metaphors of a world in a state of constant becoming.

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