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Ali Akbar Mehta: Is there a room with just a colour?

Avajaiset/Vernissage 16 April from 18:00 to 20:00

16 April – 9 May 2020

Myymälä2 is pleased to announce Is there a room with just a colour? an exhibition by artist Ali Akbar Mehta that invites online and on-site audiences to participate and become co-creators of a living archive that represents colours of violence.

Where do you fit in the larger scheme of things? Is your citizenship made doubtful? Is your right to live questioned? Does the question, ‘Where are you from?’, seem like a violent intrusion normalized through repetition? By transforming the commonplace ‘survey questionnaire’ into a diverse communication interface, the project subverts the problematic usage of questionnaires as bureaucratic tools for data collection. With particular emphasis on questions of gender, sexuality, class, and citizenship, it reveals the presence of violence – in routine everyday questions, and in everyday life. Through 50 questions gathered from various bureaucratic forms, the project facilitates an ‘encounter of equals’ and serves as a witness, a therapist, and a mirror, creating a new vocabulary of colour in the context of violence.

The work of Ali Akbar Mehta provides an unparalleled glimpse into the complex cosmological relationship of ourselves as both victim and perpetrator of the violence and trauma surrounding us. Based on four years of research, this new exhibition will focus on the culmination of a new archive, compiling the variegated aspects of our identities that are daily scrutinized, questioned and thrown back to us as everyday confrontations. In a world mediated by technology, identities may be re-forged only by challenging this mediation through both online and offline tools. Is there a room with just a colour? unfolds a poetic experience of violence and colour through a multimedia installation and a reading room.

The exhibition opens with a public launch of the website, www(dot)256millioncoloursofviolence(dot)com. Online participation through the website will be open 24X7 after the website launch on Thursday, April 16, 2020, at 16:00 UTC+2. A small edition of twin publications, ‘Colour Book + Guide Book’ will accompany the exhibition. Write to us to book your copy.

Ali Akbar Mehta (b.1983, Mumbai) is a Transmedia artist. Through a research-based practice, he creates immersive cyber archives to explore narratives of violence, conflict, and trauma within the fictions of history, memory, and identity. He is a founder member and current Artistic Director of Museum of Impossible Forms, Helsinki, a board member of Kiila ry, and pursuing his Doctoral Research in the Contemporary Art Department at Aalto University, Helsinki. He holds a BFA in Drawing & Painting from the Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai, and an MA in Visual Culture, Curating, and Contemporary Art from Aalto University, Helsinki.


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