Project Atrium: Rina Banerjee

July 1, 2020 - October 25, 2020

Irresistible, irreplaceable Earth, open over interior screams, shouting in folds creased by vapors that thread fire and earth, between ground and sky; Masculine Mythologies play upon us, heavy and heaving, as the Feminine escapes, the embers beneath breathing, to tired exile.

Rina Banerjee (Calcutta, India, 1963) is known for her large-scale sculptures and installations made from diverse materials that she weaves together to raise questions about exoticism, globalization and feminism. In the installation, Irresistible, irreplaceable Earth, open over interior screams, shouting in folds creased by vapors that thread fire and earth, between ground and sky; Masculine Mythologies play upon us, heavy and heaving, as the Feminine escapes, the embers beneath breathing, to tired exile, Banerjee draws inspiration from the story of the faithful Hindu goddess Sita.

In this ancient myth of exile and trial, Sita is made to endure a circle of fire to prove her innocence and devotion to her husband. For Banerjee, the story of Sita becomes a story of historic gender division, where women are valued in relation to their purity; and of Earth as a place, both valued and undervalued, in a relational pull of domination.

There are three main protagonists featured in the installation: the Dome (Mother Earth), the Sita figure, and Hanuman the monkey, a “savior” figure, mounted on the wall above. Joined by delicate threads and wrapped in folds of translucent nets, cloth, and other symbolic materials laden with multi-cultural meaning, Banerjee's installation invites us to consider our connectedness to the crisis of adaptation and human migration, and to revisit the cycle of rejuvenation and transformation that was invested in the hopes of the New World, that became the American Dream.

 

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Staff Profile Ylva Rouse

Ylva Rouse

Senior Curator

Ylva Rouse joined MOCA in May 2019 from New Orleans, where she moved in 2007 to launch Prospect.1, the citywide international arts triennial founded by Dan Cameron in order to bring positive attention to New Orleans following hurricane Katrina. She served as the Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs for the organization until 2017, when she would lead the implementation of its fourth edition, Prospect.4. as Interim Director. Prior to her tenure at Prospect, Rouse worked as Curator in Madrid, Spain, working with artists such as John M. Armleder, Jenny Holzer, Liam Gillick, Alex Katz, or Tatsuo Miyajima. During her years as Exhibitions Curator at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, she organized touring retrospectives of work by among others Robert Ryman, Gerhard Richter, Agnes Martin, Richard Serra and Joan Miró, as well as serving as Project Director for the seminal exhibitions El Jardin Salvaje (The Savage Garden) at the Caixa Foundation and Cocido y Crudo (The Cooked and the Raw) at the Reina Sofia Museum. Rouse holds a B.A. in Music and Art, and Master Studies, from New York University.

She has been active throughout her career both writing, curating and organizing lecture series about art aimed at the general public and has always immersed herself in the community, serving as advisor and collaborating in multiple and diverse arts projects and general initiatives with local organizations, community centers, and universities in order to support positive change. With the firm belief in art as a force for change, Rouse's passion throughout her career has been to spread the understanding and enjoyment of the modern and contemporary arts among the general public and bring awareness to the importance of nurturing the creative spirit, as individuals and as community.