The extraordinary sculptures of Ronit Baranga
The sculptures of Ronit Baranga are based on contrast and duality in meaning, unexpected and viewer experience, using the metaphor of the body to transfer unsettling yet powerfully expressive human gestures and emotions to everyday objects, which lose their functionality to become instead active, alive, capable of feeling, of interacting with each other and deciding their own path. The actual metamorphosis is intended to remove the sense of usefulness, as we often see in the case of her tableware sculptures, where the cups and plates can no longer serve their initial purpose, now having a will, needs and desires of their own.
The mouth and hands – specifically the fingers – play a very important role in Ronit Baranga’s work, as symbols of the fragile border between external existence and the inner world, as connector – the entrance and, at the same time, the exit – as well as means of communication between the two. Another reason for this choice is the mixed feelings they convey, the disturbing contradiction in experiencing both attraction due to their sensuality and repulse, as a result of the oddity defining the situations created by the artist. It is interesting that we rarely see the eyes in the works, usually present in sculptures of children, but secondary, with the focus remaining on the mouth and fingers.
When referring to the viewer, the artist often explains that she prefers her audience to feel her works, to think and ask questions, no matter if people like them or not. As her sculptures become free to choose how they want to behave and respond to the other and the environment as they please, the viewer can also interpret them through a personal filter, there are no mistakes and limitations here.
‘Untitled Feast’, 2015, part of the Dismaland exhibition
‘The Border’, 2015
‘Sweet Child of Mine’, 2012
‘Self Feeding’, 2010
All images © Ronit Baranga