Take Me to the Palace of Love explores the meaning of home in diasporic communities and invites viewers to tell their own stories of identity, place, and belonging. Curated by Romita Ray, associate professor in the Department of Art and Music Histories at Syracuse University, the exhibition features three monumental sculptural works by Banerjee, as well as works from the museum’s permanent collection, and loaned artwork from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute in Utica, the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University, and the artist’s personal collection.
In conjunction with the exhibition, Banerjee is the 2023 Jeanette K. Watson Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Humanities at Syracuse University. Banerjee’s two-week residency, Diaspora, Displacement, and the Science of Art, will take place from Feb. 20 to March 3.
The exhibition and Banerjee’s residency are supported by the Syracuse University Humanities Center, the Department of Art and Music Histories, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Art Museum, along with 33 departments and units at the University, and The Republic of Tea.
“We are delighted to bring Rina Banerjee’s creative spirit to Syracuse University,” said Ray, the curator. “Take Me to the Palace of Love is not just an exhibition; it is fundamentally a love letter to nature, community, and identity.”
About the exhibition
Can we rescue love? This fundamental question lies at the heart of Take Me to the Palace of Love, an exhibition of artist-engineer Rina Banerjee’s drawings and three critical art installations. For it is through the nourishing power of love that we define our sense of place in our communities and on our planet. Yet, love, as Banerjee’s work discloses, has been distorted to create inequity and to destroy our relationship with the natural world.
Take Me to the Palace of Love urges us restore our social and planetary connections with love. Rooted in cultural memory and storytelling, it invites us to ask: Does love play a role in how we view ourselves and shape our sense of place? Has climate change been shaped by a loss of love? How does love shape or resist gendered and racialized identities? As we come to terms with a global pandemic, these questions grow sharper and more relevant than ever.
About the artist
Now based in New York City, Rina Banerjee was born in Kolkata, India and lived briefly in Manchester and London before arriving in Queens, New York. Drawing on her multinational background and personal history as an immigrant, Banerjee focuses on ethnicity, race, and migration and American diasporic histories in her sculpture, drawings, and video art. Her sculptures feature a wide range of globally sourced materials, textiles, colonial/historical and domestic objects while her drawings are inspired by Indian miniature and Chinese silk paintings and Aztec drawings.
In 2018 the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the San José Museum of Art co-organized Banerjee’s first solo retrospective, Rina Banerjee: Make Me a Summary of the World, featuring 60 works, including sculptures, paintings, and video. The retrospective’s North American tour included exhibitions at the San José Museum of Art and the Fowler Museum at the University of California, Los Angeles before ending at the Frist Art Museum in Nashville Tennessee in 2020. Banerjee has exhibited internationally, spanning 14 biennials worldwide, including the Venice Biennial (Biennale), Yokohama Triennale, and Kochi Biennial. Banerjee’s works are included in many private and public collections such as the Foundation Louis Vuitton, Whitney Museum of American Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Centre Pompidou, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, San José Museum of Art, Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, and the Brooklyn Museum.
Banerjee returned to teaching in 2020, as a critic for the Yale School of Art Graduate Program. Between September 2021 and January 2022, she served a prestigious artist’s residency at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.
Being Rina Banerjee
Feb. 20, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Artist Talk & Museum Reception: Rina Banerjee
Feb. 23, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Life Sciences 001, followed by a reception at the Museum
Rina Banerjee In Conversation with Gayatri Spivak
March 3, 3:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Joyce Hergenhan Auditorium, Newhouse 3
Visit the museum’s website for more public programs surrounding the exhibition and Rina Banerjee’s two-week residency.