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About

The Project

ONDORMOHOL is a multi-year, creative practice led research project where Anindita Banerjee explores themes of memory, displacement and home through the lens of being a Bengali girl living in regional Australia. The juxtaposition of an object and a place creates for her a third space that is not real or tangible but fantastical, conceived through the sense of being in multiple places at the same time.

The Context

Growing up in Kolkata within an urban postcolonial cityscape, Banerjee was fascinated by the crumbling rajbaris, the large mansions built during the Victorian era. Stimulated by stories of that era, she day-dreamt about what those buildings might have looked like in their prime. Years later, the streets of Ballarat, evoked a sense of familiarity, a third space, as if she had time-travelled. At a similar time, Banerjee unexpectedly inherited a piece of antique embroidery from early 1900s which pushed me further into this world of imaginings – a muddled reality of being here (Ballarat), there (Kolkata in 1990s) and there (Kolkata in early 1900s).

Ma Embroidery_Mesho'r Ma Dida.jpg

The Content

Ondormohol Installation view from North.jpg

At the Art Gallery of Ballarat in 2021-22 Banerjee captured the visual imaginings of a Bengali girl  living in regional Victoria brought about by the juxtaposition of an object (the antique embroidery) and a place (Ballarat). 

In 2022 -23, at the Queen Victoria Centre, Banerjee curated Biktoria's Secrets, an experimental durational performance. The audience was invited to one-on-one durational interactions where although momentarily, the artist and the audience member shared the same collegiality and friendship that the women of the Ondormohol shared in the past.

 

In the current year's project, Banerjee is examining how the Bengali identity can never surpass the melancholy of the partition of Bengal, the ​​territorial reorganisation of the Bengal Presidency implemented by the authorities during the colonisation of the subcontinent. She aims to  physically situate the exhibition in the border towns of Vic and NSW, to reflect on the challenges of border towns through the lens of the Bengal border. 

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