Online Exhibition

Water Exchanges


Parvathi Nayar (India)

Water Exchanges opens with a dialogue between various drawings of water by the artist. On one level the viewers are asked to consider the preciousness of a single drop of water, and then move on to ripples, rivers and ocean waves. These drawings reference water as Nature, as a stakeholder in the environment in her own right. 

In the next part of Water Exchanges water is regarded as a resource with an integral role in human life. The personal is the political – the microcosms of daily strivings to get potable water to drink, and clean water for all our other activities are seen as iterations of larger worldwide concerns about the ownership of water on state, national and international scales can be observed. 

The final sequence of Water Exchanges celebrates the aesthetic pleasures of water, in a ballet of ice and steam. But the historical imperative comes into play here too – in the melting ice that the artist films in her kitchen are the echoes of melting glaciers in the vast if shrinking polar regions of the world.

i: Channels of Reciprocity
Drawings: Parvathi Nayar | Editor: Khayal

ii: Interlinked Systems
Script & Camera: Parvathi Nayar | Performers: Tanvi Patel, Nayantara Nayar | 
Venue: Alliance Française of Madras | Lighting Designer: Gowtham | Editor: Hariharan

 iii: An Ocean in Every Kitchen
“Freeze/Boil” Extract from the video An Ocean in Every Kitchen | Camera & concept : Parvathi Nayar | Editor: Jai | Sound: PostBox

 With thanks to Bruno Plasse, Dinesha Gajendra, Madhavan Palanisamy

Tête-à-tête with Parvathi Nayar on

Making of Water Exchanges.
Nov 27, 2020 / 17h30

Parvathi Nayar (India) in conversation with Bruno Plasse, Director, Alliance Francaise, Chennai. Moderated by Khayal, co-curator, Deconfine. The artist will discuss the crisis that informed her artwork ‘Water Exchanges’ and shed light on the process of adapting it for the online exhibition. The video of the conversation will be posted here on Nov 27, 17h30. The same will be streamed live on Facebook accounts of Alliance Française in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Parvathi Nayar is a Chennai based artist, best known for her videos and complex drawing practices. She also engages with sculpture, painting and photography. Her black-and-white graphite drawings are multifaceted works that look at the internal/intimate spaces within our bodies, and the external/public spaces in which we live, often through the prism of science and technology. Her works have been exhibited around the globe, including exhibitions at  Kochi Muziris Biennale, the Singapore Art Museum, CP Biennale Jakarta, Jai He Museum at Mumbai Airport, Galleries Francoise Livinec, India Art Fair, Art Singapore etc.