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Memory is quite central for me. Part of it is that I like the actual texture of writing through memory…

— Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (2005)

Parsec (symbol: pc) is a unit measure of length, typically used to calculate distances to stars and galaxies. One parsec is approximately equal to 3.26 light-years (ly), 206,000 astronomical units (au), 30.9 trillion kilometers (km), or 19.2 trillion miles (mi). Most stars visible to the naked eye are within a few hundred parsecs of the Sun, with the most distant at a few thousand.

Parsecs are determined using trigonometry and parallax. A star at a distance of one parsec would have a parallax of one second {second here pertains to an arcsecond (“), a unit of angular measure equal to 1/3600th of one degree}. Interestingly, the term ‘parsec’ is derived from a combination of the words ‘parallax’ and ‘second’, and the metaphors rooted in this idea form the conception of this exhibition.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines a parallax as, ‘the effect by which the position or direction of an object appears to change when the object is seen from different positions’. It is likely that one has already experienced parallaxes, while taking photographs for instance. The ‘parallax error’ in photography occurs when the viewfinder looks out at the world through a separate window from the camera lens, as in many digital or smartphone cameras. Due to a displacement in the apparent position of the object, the resulting image may differ from the intended composition. Therefore, by figurative extension, a parallax might represent a subject or an idea whose implication varies in view of individual perspective.

The exhibition title is inspired from its wildly famous, though linguistically incorrect, citation in the movie ‘Star Wars, A New Hope’ (1977), wherein Harrison Ford playing a smuggler turned hero in the role of Han Solo, claims, “[the Millenium Falcon] made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs”, which implies parsec as a measure of time instead of distance. Linguistic inversions between time and distance however, are fairly common colloquialisms. Consider for instance, the oft used phrase ‘we / you have come so far’, which typically means to denote progress by way of time or accomplishment, rather than its literal implication of distance. A parallax, if you will.

Within the exhibition, Parsec, refers to dreams that travel astronomical distances by way of progress, time, and at times geography. Dreams that carry the weight of history, of our collective lived experience; dreams that draw from memory, wherein they unabashedly stake claim on stories told from the memories of others, and as well those written in the words of another’s imagination. Dreams that naturally sift through infinite datum to preserve arbitrary fragments of memory, that in turn begin to define one’s identity, hopes, and values, and give reason to future goals. For, as best expressed in the words of W.B. Yeats, “In dreams begins responsibility” (epitaph, Responsibilities, 1916).

Parsec features 19 artists from various stages of their practice, whose artworks span multiple stylistic and thematic genres. They converge only in the significance of their association with the space for which the exhibition was conceived, and its representatives, in terms both physical and intangible. Though seemingly arbitrary, the causality of shared association is proposed as a metaphor for the disparate, often unrelated, parts that come together to make a whole; a whole that in turn commands an entirely unique identity and significance in its own right. The artworks showcased in the exhibition, therefore, function like stars that stand alone in the night sky, glorious and iridescent, each with unique specificity, but they likewise unite in constellations that tell stories of time. The stars, although larger than life, remain forever in the making, much like the expeditions we embark on; motivated by need, chance, individual specificities of character, and indeed breadcrumb trails bequeathed in fragments of inspiration by several individuals who touch our lives. Vital, yet quietly iridescent in the backdrop.

– Nupur Dalmia, 2022


Aaiushi Beniwal
Alexander Gorlizki
Messrs Prabhakar B Bhagwat
Deepak Agasthya
Indrapramit Roy
Jyoti Bhatt
K. G. Subramanyan
Kadamboor Neeraj
Kaizad Modi
Mrugen Rathod
Nihaal Faizal
Rekha Rodwittiya
Roshan Chhabria
Sarasija Subramanian
Shilpa Rangnekar
Teja Gavankar
Vasudevan Akkitham
Vimal Ambaliya
Walter D’Souza