Allan Parker

Forget Gold (Chennai Photo India)

Forget Gold (Chennai Photo Biennale India)

FORGET GOLD – INVEST IN WATER was selected for the  Chennai Photo Biennale 2019. The exhibition; subtitled ‘Photography as a Method of Visual Research, was originally devised as a project for Photography students at Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology by Allan Parker assisted by Chinar Shah. An earlier version of the show was  presented at the Rangoli Metro Gallery, MG Road Bangalore in December 2018. The version shown at the Chennai Photo Biennale in the cavernous  Chintadripet Railway Station, was enlarged with additional works by Allan Parker, Chinar Shah and Jun Homma.

This catalogue was created for the first showing of ‘Forget Gold’ and features student work and an introduction (below) .  The slide show on this page features work from the slightly expanded version shown of the show at the Chennai Photo Biennale (2019).


The title of this project originates from a wall street trader’s alleged mantra for future investment. It raises questions about the ways in which we assign value to aspects of the world once assumed to be the right of all. The reciprocal nature of our relationship with the environment is nowhere more acutely or intimately demonstrated than in our need for water – it constitutes around 60% of the composition of our bodies. It provides us with images of purity and corruption.
The value we confer on it takes many forms; biological, agricultural, industrial, aesthetic, spiritual, environmental and financial. Many of these demands are in competition with each other, if not in conflict. As many cities appear on the verge of a water crisis, brought on by changes in climate, increased demand and poor management, its financial value seems set to increase, paving the way for sometimes distant speculators to benefit financially from local shortages.
Art has a part to play in helping us to helping us to order our priorities in the light of these various demands. This exhibition demonstrates how artistic choices regarding medium and technique can be brought to bear on these ideas and issues.

Allan Parker – 2019