Yankee Remix, Remix
Born in Calcutta in 1963. Lives in Bennington, Vermont
Welded steel, plastics, light fixtures, transparencies
The story Banerjee tells in this sprawling installation begins with its most unassuming part: a group of three optical sculptures, resting low on the floor. In these delicate optical sculptures, Banerjee includes excerpts from letters that were sent from Calcutta by a young Boston Brahmin named Ogden Codman to his fiancée back in Boston during the late 1850s. The letters are paired with photographs from an album of “Calcutta types” that Codman bought during his long tourist sojourn there. Banerjee relished the opportunity to gain insight into Codman’s way of thinking about Calcutta, which she found hilarious, threatening, and bizarre by turns. The “rose-colored glasses” that Codman seemed to wear sent her on a riff about the Western romanticization of India during Victorian times, when there were fads for paisley shawls, Indian furniture, and decorative items. This romance was the alternate face of colonialism.
( Text spirals from L to R)
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