New York

View of “Chitra Ganesh,” 2018. Foreground: Artist unknown, Maitreya, the Future Buddha, ca. late 18th century–early 19th century. Background: Chitra Ganesh, Silhouette in the Graveyard, 2018. Photo: Phoebe d’Heurle.

Chitra Ganesh

Rubin Museum of Art

As part of the Rubin Museum of Art’s yearlong exploration of the “future,” Brooklyn-based artist Chitra Ganesh took inspiration from the institution’s collection of Tibetan art to examine how the dystopic present can be changed for a better tomorrow in two separate, yet connected, exhibitions. The title of the core exhibition, “The Scorpion Gesture,” for which she created five animations (her first and, by my lights, rather successful foray into the medium) refers to a Tibetan Buddhist hand gesture, or mudra, that represents the endless possibilities of transformation embodied metaphorically in the scorpion—a creature the Western imagination typically casts as threatening.

The apocalypse is made a spectacle in Ganesh’s videos, all of which are projected on the walls of the second- and third-floor galleries. Metropolis (all works 2018) ends with the resurrection of Maitreya, a bodhisattva

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