In 2015, Ranu Mukherjee collaborated with the Bureau of Linguistic Reality to coin the term, “Shadowtime”, meant to capture “the feeling of living simultaneously in two distinctly different time scales” or “the acute consciousness of the possibility that the near future will be drastically different than the present.” Since then the term has become more resonant and urgent, forming the current basis of Mukherjee's studio work.
Many of the images in these paintings are drawn from recent news and re-contextualized for the purposes of perceiving them as events in time, outside of the news cycle. There are images of bodies engaged in collective action; performing prayers, demonstrating, fleeing, dancing or embracing. She sees them as cultural time markers, and layers them with images of the shifting natural world as material time markers. The works suggests a new urgency around figure ground relationships and a type of history painting to address this moment. The layered images take time to emerge and withhold certain types of demographic information such as skin color, in order to destabilize a sense of knowing and offer the responsibility of seeing to the viewer.