Rina Banerjee: Make Me a Summary of the World
|When||9 Oct 2020 - 10 Jan 2021|
|Where||Frist Art Museum
Nashville, TX 37203
“In Western art, to explore something you cannot identify with is a kind of dishonesty, because authenticity is a compass . . . [but] authenticity does not exist for the diaspora.”
Rina Banerjee explores the idea that in the current social imaginary, characteristics of society that were once thought to anchor identity—languages, political and economic ideologies, nationality, race, and sexuality—limit the ways individuals can define themselves or be defined by others. While the resulting ambiguity may seem to be a sign of cultural disarray, works in this exhibition offer the tantalizing possibility of a more inclusive and open-ended future.
Banerjee is a voracious gatherer of objects. Reflecting the history and symbolism of items acquired from around the world, her constructions include things like cowrie shells, Chinese umbrellas, Pyrex tubes, glass beads, alligator heads, and epoxy buffalo horn replicas. Their strong colors, patterns, and frequent allusions to South Asian materials and images recall Banerjee’s Indian heritage while telling a larger story about the transmission, exploitation, and adaptation of cultures from colonial times to the global present.
This exhibition includes sculptures, installations, and paintings produced over the past twenty years. Together, they show Banerjee’s ongoing desire to summarize the complexity, beauty, and sense of disequilibrium that can arise in a world undergoing constant fragmentation and renewal.
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Image courtesy of the event organizer.