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A solo exhibition and residency at Rubus Discolor Project, Portland, OR in July, 2022. 

In Rhizophora, Rujuta Rao extends qualities of fragmentation to the mangrove plant body and to bodies of women, creating moments for these fragments to intersect with each other. By doing so she addresses the threatened existence of mangroves and the fracturing effects of trauma on the bodies and minds of women while being curious about the adaptive strategies of both to survive inundation. The work includes objects, performance, garments, sound pieces, and fictional narratives which were altered and rearranged over the course of the exhibition. Rao was in residence at the gallery for the duration of the show.

Simultaneously, Rao showed her work Dispersal, which began in New York City as a way to share a tactile engagement with objects in an intimate setting. The traveling was meant to echo the migration of mangrove propagules which float across vast distances before eventually taking root. Interested parties were encouraged to sign up. Locations were chosen in collaboration between the viewer and the artist.

Texts in response to the works in this exhibition were written by Yamini Nayar and Lilly Handley. 

Text by Yamini Nayar

Text by Lilly Handley

Sound Pieces played on headphones:

17 minutes 17 seconds
Written by Rujuta Rao
Read by Aveek Sen 

3 minutes 30 seconds
Written by Rujuta Rao
Read by Wah-Ming Chang
Soundtrack to performance:

Daydream of a Machine (Rhizophora Edit)
17 minutes 17 seconds
Written by Rujuta Rao
This soundtrack was a version of an earlier sound piece
Daydream of a Machine
Objects on the floor are parts of a mangrove plant made with unfired clay, covered with ink and hand-burnished. Exposure to moisture makes them disintegrate.
Photos: Nina Lee Johnson
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