Philadelphia

Rina Banerjee, A World Lost: after the original island appears, a single land mass is fractured, after population migrated, after pollution revealed itself and as cultural locations once separated did merged, after the splitting of Adam and Eve, shiva and shakti 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., 2013, mixed media. Installation view, 2018. Photo: Barbara Katus.

Rina Banerjee, A World Lost: after the original island appears, a single land mass is fractured, after population migrated, after pollution revealed itself and as cultural locations once separated did merged, after the splitting of Adam and Eve, shiva and shakti 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., 2013, mixed media. Installation view, 2018. Photo: Barbara Katus.

Rina Banerjee

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Museum

Rina Banerjee, A World Lost: after the original island appears, a single land mass is fractured, after population migrated, after pollution revealed itself and as cultural locations once separated did merged, after the splitting of Adam and Eve, shiva and shakti 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., 2013, mixed media. Installation view, 2018. Photo: Barbara Katus.

HERE IS A SAMPLING of the materials in one sculpture by the artist Rina Banerjee: an Anglo-Indian pedestal, a Victorian birdcage, feathers, gourds, and fractured Frozen Charlotte doll heads. The title of this work is even more intricate than its constituent parts: Her captivity was once someone’s treasure and even pleasure but she blew and flew away took root which grew, we knew this was like no other feather, a third kind of bird that perched on a vine intertwined was neither native nor her queens daughters, a peculiar other., 2011.

Banerjee is a poet of products, a psychic medium of manufactures, and she uses such lengthy, lyrical descriptors to give feeling and narrative to organic and inorganic matter. In this ensemble, she imagines exoticized Indian wares made for the nineteenth-century English market to be a strange species: “a third kind of bird” fated to fly the world but

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the March 2019 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.