Madhavan Palanisamy: appa and other animals



In ‘appa and other animals’, Madhavan Palanisamy (b. 1975, India) introduces his dad as the main source of inspiration. Last year, his father suffered from a partial stroke that, unfortunately, made him immobile. “Even after my father lost his eyesight, he continued seeing and inspiring others with his humanity,” says Madhavan to motivate why he sketched a pair of eyes on a close-up portrait of his dad, resulting in turning him into a mythical god-like figure.

His black and white images shot on an expired film are highlighted with bright flash and grain in addition to personal drawings and writings that add a unique diaristic quality to the series. This subjective approach helps Palanisamy to give insight in his daily routines and to highlight the old neighbourhood in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu – the area where for two months he was caring for his dad. It was a difficult time and to shake off the stress, the artist would often go for evening walks, listen to music and pass around dogs, mules and horses while always carrying a Contax G2 camera with an attached flash.

‘appa and other animals’ mirrors the intimacy, absurdity and vulnerability interplaying in Palanisamy’s daily life. Hovering between day and night, the project allows for a unique aesthetic encounter, further emphasizing our inability to escape the inevitable cycle of ageing.