Decoding Artist Rina Banerjee's Dark Message In The World As Burnt Fruit
Underneath its association with Indian mythology, this installation artwork by Rina Banerjee offers a scathing critique of imperialism and highlights its many perils
It is difficult to make sense of Rina Banerjee’s works solely by what they are called. Many have long, wordy titles as is the case with this installation piece called The world as burnt fruit—When empires feuded for populations and plantations, buried in colonial and ancient currency a Gharial appeared from an inky melon—hot with blossom sprang forth to swallow the world not yet whole as burnt fruit. The work uses many materials for what Banerjee calls the “maximum experience”.
The artwork hides a dark message beneath its surface—the resin-made skeleton, jutting from the orb lined with cowrie shells, is that of a gharial; the lump it holds in its mouth represents the world. An attentive viewer may spot the link with Indian mythology—the association of the gharial with Ganga. It also draws attention to the endangered nature of this species in India and Myanmar—brought about by the damaging effects of imperialism.