Rina Banerjee title graphic

When signs of origin fade, fall out, if washed away, trickle into separations, precipitate when boiled or filtered to reveal all doubleness as wickedness. Vanishing act that migration, mixation like mothers who hid paternity who could name move me slowly reveal me only when my maker stands straight, 2017

Turtle replica in resin, vintage shell lampshades, steel armature, Polynesian wood mask, Pyrex filtration lab glassware, feathers, linen thread, silk, amber vials, cowrie shells, seed beads, pearls

Collection Dragonfly, France, courtesy of Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris/Brussels

Inspired by the theory of continental drift, this symbolic map shows how the Indian subcontinent, Africa, and Australia may have moved physically apart, yet are metaphorically reconnected via migrations of people and expanding networks of trade. The red threads refer to the dispersal of bloodlines that accompanies migration. At center is a large turtle—a creature that figures prominently in Hindu mythology—which symbolically holds up the world. The arrangement of gourds shows a plant species that is used in many world cultures in decorative or functional ways, further emphasizing connections across continents.

Make me a summary of the world! She was his guide and had traveled on camel, rhino, elephant and kangaroo, dedicated to dried plants, glass houses—for medical study, vegetable sexuality, self-pollination, fertilization her reach pierced the woods country by country, 2014

Wooden rhino, Chinese umbrellas, sea sponges, linen, beads, pewter soldiers, grape vines, glass chandelier drops, acrylic horns, wire, nylon and bead flowers

Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris/Brussels

In the age of exploration, Western scientists and explorers circled the globe, acquiring natural specimens and human-made productions in the effort to catalogue, study, and display the world’s wonders. Today, the Internet makes it far easier to collect exotic materials than ever before. Banerjee says, “Globalization means that we no longer need to go on ‘expeditions’ the way Victorian explorers did. The East has arrived.” Objects acquired online may lose the authentic connection to place, but they take on altered meaning relative to labor and supply chains in a global network of exchange. Make me a summary of the world conveys Banerjee’s desire to establish a new context for understanding this abundance of materials that are no longer reflective of their cultures of origin.

Read a community response to this object.

Her black growth produced such a sprinkle of ultimate fears that a shadow of silver emerged from it to watch herself watching and followed all worldly movements, 2006

Mixed media on paper

Private collection, Paris, France, courtesy of Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris/Brussels

Tongues, intestines, ingestion tracts, and vapors entering and exiting the mouth are prominent in Banerjee’s drawings. Such references to biological functions relate not only to food but to the consumption and expulsion of culture, identity, and commodities as they circulate through global markets.

Untitled (Dying fishgirl and angel above), 2006

Mixed media on tracing paper of architectural drawing for Columbia Center for Disease Control from 1968

Private collection, Paris, France, courtesy of Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris/Brussels

Flourish me different in wind and drift and breezes set sale always in motion and mindful adaptation, in not yet settled fertile selection, in open folds and ceaseless creases, in remote reaches this was wrinkled and snagged touched stopped with what nature teaches came to shed peel so these layers as evolution loosens makes us each time, every time this a tiny bit different, 2014

Steel, textiles, beads, pearls, feather fans

Collection of Wanda Kownacki

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