Field Projects is pleased to present Show #45: SAHANA RAMAKRISHNAN, A NIGHT IN THE WOODS, curated by Jacob Rhodes.
A Night in the Woods comprises of new mixed media paintings, etchings and installation by Brooklyn based artist Sahana Ramakrishnan.
The show’s central figure is a centaur with two sets of genitals who meekly wields a sword and shield. This unlikely creature is the channel through which ideas of masculinity, patriarchy, and idolatry are brought to life in a surreal landscape of false trees and man-made nature. Meek though he may be, we are confronted with the feeling that this environment we have entered is his own domain; that he is both our guide and our greatest peril.
But the artist offers us a companion with whom we can traverse these dark woods: A female figure whose face is at all times obscured. Though her conduct may seem questionable by modern standards of feminism, she is the closest thing we have in this place to a protagonist.
The show is laden with allusions to spirituality and its cliches as Ramakrishnan draws her imagery and symbols as chimeras stitched together from fragments of Hindu, Buddhist, and Greek mythologies, as well as from contemporary narratives and culture surrounding spirituality. The flat-out mythical nature of her works is extremely personal, as symbols or imagery that have pervaded pop culture and collective consciousness are perverted, morphed, turned upside down by the artist’s hand. As the protagonist, the artist and ourselves grapple with our relations to these mutated versions of symbols that have historically been interpreted and passed on by men, a strange journey of sexual and spiritual exploration unfolds.
About the artist:
Sahana Ramakrishnan was born in Mumbai, India and raised in Singapore. She travelled to the United States to complete her BFA in Painting at RISD, and has since been living and working in Brooklyn. Sahana’s work has been exhibited in Gateway Project Spaces, Elizabeth Foundation of the Arts, A.I.R. Gallery, Front Art Space, and more. She is currently a fellow at the Robert Blackburn Printmaking workshop and was a recipient of the Feminist-in-Residence program at Gateway Project Spaces, the Yale/Norfolk Summer program, and the Florence Lief grant from RISD.