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  the distanced eye ≡ I, observing the personal and the intimate.


        Poetry, Performative video                                                  


Leviathan on my dance floor

Sometimes serious, sometimes playful, Leviathan on my dance floor is an installation comprising a 4-page poem, a main performative video piece running 10 minutes, and other smaller audio/video pieces (in production). It is about the tried and tested effectiveness of strategy and wit when it comes to dangerous power encounters in one's lifetime, be it with institutions, organizations, businesses, or individuals. Remembering the value of creating and powerfully holding cerebral distance from oneself, one's emotions and one's problems to realize the power of the human spirit to defeat even 'the impossible' with nothing but intelligence, it redefines true resilience. Some scenes change our frame of reference, highlighting the highly comedic aspect of tragedies, while Banerjee's vulnerability in others promise that the humor is not to 'minimize' the gravity of a tragic, traumatic experience, or to deflect, but rather to give us an opportunity to be utterly amused at the powerlessness the aggressor(s) carefully masks. 

What bends never breaks, but where we bend and where we don't, how we bend and how we don't- those write secret tales of intentionality, determination, a ferocious will, strategy, and raw personal power. Unabashedly vocal about the intimacies of trauma and recovery, Banerjee's position on his experience becomes clear: "Why must anyone who survived something horrific hide anything? Shame never belongs to a survivor, only to the perpetrators."

Audio 1Leviathan, on my dance floor?
00:00 / 06:27



*The work has potential to be vinyl-printed on the gallery wall. 

Come as you are were

An installation with the title printed across a full wall and a 44" X 56" 1-page poem, it is a work questioning the reasons for mourning a past self, the validity of claiming 'a person one was but no longer is' as reason to 'I miss me.' All that as means to offer and find deep comfort, COME AS YOU (ARE) WERE is self-soothing (while soothing others) but not necessarily self-indulgent.


A work that begins as sentimental but slowly traverses into the psychological and the spiritual/devotional, to end on the romantic, the reader is invited on an intricate journey through a spiritual kind of maternal love Banerjee has known (one profoundly unconditional and self-abnegating but that doesn't "smother," references to Freud's The Devouring Mother) to see it culminate into a romantic, devotional note to one's beloved. The common threads between the two kinds of relationships? Painful sacrifice but deeply rewarding intimacy and emotional safety. Self-awareness and the conscious choice to offer someone we love dearly 'the gift of shadow work': a lifetime's commitment towards self-mastery so we don't hurt them unknowingly. The rare 'true' love that affirms, "I commit to try to always protect you, from me no less." Not that we always succeed, we are only mortals, but that commitment holds the power to create a strong bridge between realism and idealism that often withstands the test of time and complex life stressors. 

Banerjee's poem is a product of the indebtedness he feels having known the gentle, selfless love of his mother, of pondering closely the spiritual beauty or significance of a highly empathic woman who refuses to succumb to her primal desires, even if she gave up everything of her own for her children in an act of self-annihilating, unconditional love. Undertaking the painful journey of allowing one's offspring who one has suckled for months the beautiful gift of "individuation," asking nothing of them emotionally and otherwise, requires tremendous courage- love is courage. The artist notes, "I have been deeply moved by comments on this work from a few sensitive mothers, struck by the kinds of transference that I witnessed during my studio critiques and conversations. I am ever grateful to have been trusted with those moments of vulnerability and personal truths and for the fact that they forgave my inability to find immediate words to comfort them."


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