Sunil Gupta: In Pursuit of Love - private view and reception
Venue: Peltz Gallery, 43 Gordon Square
Booking details: Free entry; booking recommended
"The works in this exhibition are about what it is to be an out Indian gay man and being desired in the world. ‘Homelands’ (2004) grew out of being gay, of Indian origin but living in the West, and being HIV positive. Since the virus lived within, these landscapes which I had called home at various times belonged to the virus as much as they belonged to me. It was a shift from exclusively postcolonial terms of reference to geography and location. A stepping back.
‘Homelands’ led me, inevitably in retrospect, to move back to India. This was triggered by a sudden, unexpected and overwhelming love affair that began at a show of ‘Homelands’ and ‘Exiles’ (1977) in Delhi in 2005. Although the romance was short lived it was replaced by a love of the place and its people. Here was a new generation of no longer gay but queer people who wanted change and who were not prepared to wait.
‘The New Pre-Raphaelites’ (2008) is my attempt to visualise this moment of sexual liberation and restlessness that was no longer ‘the love that dared not speak its name’ but the love that was suddenly having Pride marches and demanding equal rights.
In the London series ‘Ten Years On’ (1984), I had wondered what made gay love relationships work notwithstanding the lack of rights. In India, I found an answer — the public queering of one’s sexuality has created loving communities and has changed public opinion despite the law."
Sunil Gupta, London 2017
Sunil Gupta: In Pursuit of Love runs from 20 September- 31 October 2017 at The Peltz Gallery.
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