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| EXHIBITION HALL |

Rina Banerjee

"Irresistible Earth, an uncontrollable and unconditional love is bestowed to us upon birth while ours is love for her, Nature that grows like ripening fruit both fermented and fresh drives our ambition to expand and all the while a universe seemingly cooling and heating like sour tongue airing, widening, making our earth to move away from sun, it’s migrating destiny unknown, drifting outward to echo voiceless Nature, a wisdom for you and I to draw out, like tight curled tongue. Why is hers, her nature and our nature too so coupled but loose, coiled and tangled with tails, horns and unclipped nails, messy and monstrous parts these her humans drizzles fortune and violence untasted into time. Why would you not open your mouth and allow your scent to swell over, your senses to identify this tooled mind, to let see right from wrong? Earth, a watery cradle held me newborn, allowed me to play with Nature, like school friends, will she now not protect me from your other creations as you would Love or a sunny day from grey."

| 03.09.- 31.10.2021|

Curated by Malin Barth

Rina Banerjee forms a lengthy, intriguing, and poetic exhibition title and it reads as follow: Irresistible Earth, an uncontrollable and unconditional love is bestowed to us upon birth while ours is love for her, Nature that grows like ripening fruit both fermented and fresh drives our ambition to expand and all the while a universe seemingly cooling and heating like sour tongue airing, widening, making our earth to move away from sun, it's migrating destiny unknown, drifting outward to echo voiceless Nature, a wisdom for you and I to draw out, like tight curled tongue. Why is hers, her nature and our nature too so coupled but loose, coiled and tangled with tails, horns and unclipped nails, messy and monstrous parts these her humans drizzles fortune and violence untasted into time. Why would you not open your mouth and allow your scent to swell over, your senses to identify this tooled mind, to let see right from wrong? Earth, a watery cradle held me newborn, allowed me to play with Nature, like school friends, will she now not protect me from your other creations as you would Love or a sunny day from grey The free spirited sentence structures offer us an out-of-the-ordinary entrance into her work. Banerjee´s play with words propagates within her visual universe, the play contributing to our perception of the spontaneous forms of expression. In play we might find our holistic nature and have the best opportunity to grow into perfect, free, and autonomous people. Our nature is being harmonized and humanized.
 

Banerjee makes a visual stance for the need to first acknowledge then to abandon the world as we know it with its masculine-dominated ideas that women and nature exist to be controlled. The assemblages, paintings, and drawings present themselves simultaneously as familiar and unfamiliar. Banerjee´s riotous use of color, assemblages, and discordant materials, make the work fascinating and challenging at the same time. As in nature desires, nature requires, nature transforms… She approaches her desire for change with optimism, hopefulness, and confidence, more like a botanist’s slow unfolding of the silky texture of a flower, or an entomologist’s cautious examination of all the wonders of a bumblebee´s sting and wings, and less like the violence of nonconsensual domination some scientists impose when unwrapping nature’s beautiful web, taking away its charm, and hunting it down to its most elemental form.

Through the ages, religious leaders, politicians, and scientists have all associated women with nature, although they have not agreed on the nature, origin, and purpose of women. Regardless, they found a common denominator in legitimizing male domination of nature and bestowed to them the power and the right to govern. This gendered hierarchy has been supported by medical science dictionaries: the uterus epitomizing feminine organization, thus reducing women to their childbearing function. Between menstruation and pregnancy, puberty and menopause, women were perpetually ill; men were therefore naturally and irremediably superior. This conclusion was to be confirmed by psychiatry and psychoanalysis from its conception, for it identified a connection between the nature and mental instability of women, who, unable to control their emotions, were rendered incapable of making proper use of reason. Reason must obey nature, which ordered the world, and intended the private sphere for women and the public sphere for men. This reasoning made its way from nature to the nature of women, which was to be deemed weak and fragile, feeding into the construct of a gender divide that was shared across most cultures and codified in civil rules.

Maybe, first, we can finally find a way forward and achieve gender neutrality by transcending the gendering of nature. Banerjee explores and challenges the way we look upon women and talk about nature. When misogyny is rampant on a dying planet, female gender in the natural world is counterproductive. When equating the scientific violation of nature with the rape of women, it unfortunately does not arouse much sympathy. It rather shows that upholding the natural gender “woman” will only extend gender-based violence towards the planet and nature as a “woman”. The phrase "she is dying" is usually used to talk about the state of our planet. Saying “she is dying” does not arouse enough of people's sympathy for the detained women and children at the southern U.S. border whose lives are in danger due to inadequate safety conditions. "She is dying" does not aid adequately the thousands of women who die every year as a result of domestic violence. "She is dying" does not help sufficiently to prevent maternal deaths caused by the government's refusal to grant women the option of safe abortions. If saying "she is dying" doesn't affect action from those in power, then telling them that actual women are dying has little effect on getting them to care about the planet. According to those in position of power whose personal gain would not increase if she were to be saved, "she is dying" is merly of a statement of fact than a call to action.

This gendering of nature connects our current climate crisis with the scientific thinking of yesteryear. It is not surprising that more and more studies today link gender reactionaries with climate denialism. Even in the Nordic countries the majority of male climate skeptics view climate advocates as a threat to modern industrial society, reflecting their masculinity—a person who has the right to exploit nature. Driven by the idolization of an economic system that reveres exploitation and domination, male reactionaries view eco-consciousness and a general concern for the earth as the feminization of their world. As the main providers of food, water, and fuel in extensive part of the world, women bear the greater burden of the global-warming crisis, but they are also more vulnerable when flooding and drought occur. The U.N. estimates 80% of those displaced by climate change are women and their children. We must all acknowledge the worldwide need to further empower women, especially in the current climate of decision-making.

 

New York-based Indian artist Rina Banerjee (1963) is renowned for exploring overlapping themes that coincide with important issues of our time: colonialism and globalism; immigration and identity; gender and sexuality; climate change and the natural world. She is currently featured in an extensive museum tour in the US with a large in-depth exploration of her artistic endeavors in the exhibition Make Me a Summary of the World.

[rinabanerjee.com/home.html]

Courtesy of Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris, France.

LIST OF ARTWORKS:

1    In making America, In Civilizing nature, taking it out, to sell, the Indian in conquest to its east and it’s west, with prickly feet like antler tips broke bark, opened, entered, wildly and loudly like sour pickle, tuned instruments to tell truth and lie tangled and dangled behind it’s shell, headless, 2020
Metal, rice paper, glass, sequins, cotton, horn wire, porcelain, silver leaf

2    Sweet Baby, 2014
Watercolor and ink on paper

3    Out of hollowness of world She punctured tight twisted curled horn, meaty teeth a wagon of emotion, 2017
Steel armature, silk, nets, sequins, beads, bottles, shells, feathers, Murano glass

4    Widow marriages and interracial catches at the edge of paradise’s forest must stare into a state appointed registrar with no objections and ample warnings as crowning, 2018
Watercolor and ink on paper

5    The durability of her beauty, polished fingers, her private and delicate proportions made all the city to know that she was a wonder that only nature was able to ponder, 2011
Acrylic and ink on watercolor paper

6    The globe warmed like egg and once thrice with crack to open she could pick and pick by hook of finger, eating-eaten in the curl of nails one a terrible beauty of faithful spouse she is yellow in all battles "with sun when moon plays like a mouse", 2014
Watercolor and ink on paper

7    Fastened to two walking sticks and lopsided imagined she in a world without opponents, unburdened by squabble and masonary bricks, she a prop propped up man from man not capable of understanding the parts that ripped and torn like partition, camps, detention pockets and passport tangles bottled black glory and tangerine blossom, 2020
Metal, glass, sequins, feathers, wire

8    Courageous odours violent and natural cut open veils of decency reveals the misformed, the funny and peculiar and all such oddities in a grand gesture, a assertion of the physical, 2014
Acrylic ink on watercolour paper

9    In expansive clutter of unimaginable emotions exceeded love, sadness and hatred and joy so much cloth made covered, covered and covered as bricks could cover to house, to entangle bodies sometimes as figures, ghosts as visible, as spectacle as sun, 2017
Gold Leaf, acrylic, ink

10    Kick back and  without relax pour your bloodline, tribes with tight wives, paint your earth pink and in red to remember molten lava and rains that would stain  she stood tall to them all  open mouth and with no  money hush my honey listen for justice whispers so sunny, 2018
Watercolor and ink on paper

11    See her beak a coppery bill, her pointed puncture with black horn waiting in edges of river among stones and ocean pearls, her coarse curls sleeps outside of home, outside of culture, in open air, feel her tire without tone of muscle in effortless slumber and in watery sheets her many sections fold and file in, cooling her throat  with waters from below bearing new disguises no one yet knows be transformed, 2017
Mixed Media

12    Summer squash and rice liquor, a fortress of land dropped out of origin, like five parts too big drifted away to sea, 2020
Beads, fabric, sequins, plastic, thread, metal

13    Hanging on, jumping jobs, I do, I don’t, I kneel or I won’t, sinking and rising but playing jump rope in danger of having no home, no country, 2018
Watercolor and ink on paper

14    Gargantuan Crawler, 2014
Watercolor and ink on paper

15    Under heavy mistletoe, Welcome me with Witches and widows who prepare me, take me away in flight fold my legs thrice wake me without kiss from dream with grin, giggle and tender laughter, 2018
Acrylic, ink and collage on two sheets of paper

16    All heart and wonder the future came to her like thunderous lava, she leaped while it seeped into places hostile and thence explosions placed her away from him, his anger waked her as survivor, 2017
Acrylic, marbled papers collage and gold leaf

17    The inhabitant of one thousand lies made history unknowable, threatening to serve illness, less desirable than beauty offered, a crescent tigress and goopy perfumed mountain awoke to soften his prickly hatred with celery and onions, garlic and ginger aromas, 2020
Watercolor and ink on paper

18    Kiss me at birth everything is going to be better now... not forever, no contract, no promises can sever birth mother forever, 2018
Acrylic, ink and collage on paper

19    In Plain Sight, a tear seemed to surge out of the most left eye, in pocket hidden, piled high, seeds, timeless pinched her for a plenty with teeth tickles of simple justice, 2015
Silver leaf blue, ink, acrylic paint on birch wood panel