CHENNAI: Could CT scans of a fish be considered art? Enter Park Hyatt, Velachery, and one can see the scan of a zebra fish skeleton neatly framed and displayed on the wall as part of the exhibition False Alternatives, in collaboration with Gallery Veda. Meenakshi Thirukode, curator of the show, says that the piece of work, reflects the title quite aptly, which explores the idea of seeing the world beyond black and white. “False Alternatives is like a theory that stipulates that a lot of other alternatives exist beyond just two ways of seeing a particular situation,” she says.
How does the fish fit in? “By law, Zebrafish is not considered a living animal for the first four days of its life because it feeds from the yoke of its embryo and not from the world, which is a legal requisite for life. This was interesting to me as this creature seems to exist in a space that we cannot define. Is it living or dead?” says Meenakshi. It is this grey area which underlines all the works of 15 artists from across the globe, at the exhibition.
While Haseeb Ahmed’s 3D printing of Zebrafish marks the transience between life and death, Jaishri Abichandani’s works include alien characters, who speak, look, act different from humans. However, these are not anonymous green dwarfs that we associate aliens with, Jaishri morphs her image with that of popular sci-fi characters to create a burst of creativity. It also urges us to think of the alternate ways of living for those who are oppressed in this world we live in, according to Meenakshi. “It has us imagine where we came from, and how others perceive us to be. For a few, we might be aliens too,” she says. Yet another interesting work by Chitra Ganesh has her using Amar Chitra Katha as a base and creating alternate narratives. “It goes beyond the quintessential hero, heroine and villain as in the stories,” says Meenakshi, who started working on the exhibition last November.
Meenakshi, who has curated shows in New York and Cochin previously, says that the idea had sedimented after years of curating, writing and working with some fine artists. “While I have been following the works of a few artists who are part of this exhibition for almost 12 years, a few, I discovered during my research more recently. A few works were specially commissioned for this exhibition,” she says.
Besides the local artistes like Parvathy Nayar, Sujeet and Kumaresan, the exhibition brings works of international artists David Antonio Cruz, Kathleen Granados, Haseeb Ahmed and Alexander Singh.