256 ~ Is there a room with just a colour?

256 ~ Is there a room with just a colour?

Myymälä2, Helsinki

Installation view: Is there a room with just a colour?, 2020, Myymälä2, Helsinki

Is there a room with just a colour? at Myymälä2, Helsinki is an exhibition by artist Ali Akbar Mehta inviting 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 18:00 UTC+2.


Is there a room with just a colour?

16.4–9.5, 2020


Uudenmaankatu 23, 00120 Helsinki

Hours: Wednesday–Saturday 12–6 pm

Sunday 12–5 pm

The exhibition will continue till Saturday, May 09, 2020.