Living Disobediently


Dates: 12th – 23rd June 2017

Venue: Seminar Room 19, Institute of Advanced Studies, UCL

Free Entry – No tickets required.

Living Disobediently presents three distinct bodies of work from India that capture life under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, a remnant of colonial law through the enforcement of which homosexuality continues to be deemed unnatural and criminal in India.

Working against and outside of the binary of normality/abnormality that Section 377 establishes, Sunil Gupta and Charan Singh’s photographs from the series Communities of Belonging capture ordinary scenes from the quiet hours of Delhi residents who identify as queer. In their intimate portraits of daily life, Gupta and Singh attempt to trouble the assumption of difference or deviance that is inscribed upon the non-heterosexual body. Indu Antony, in her photographic series ManiFest, creates parodied, highly posed portrayals of thirteen queer women as they ‘try on’ the attire of popular male characters and vocations that are ubiquitous in India. As Drag Kings, Antony’s subjects enter a space of masculinity that is usually inaccessible to them for the very purpose of its critique and disruption. Lastly, in his mixed media compositions Jijo Kuriakose of the Kerala-based artists’ collective Queerala seeks to undo the revulsion and ridicule with which depictions of male intimacy are usually charged even as his subjects remain ensnared or separated by mazes of words and wires.

Living Disobediently reminds us, finally, to turn our attentions to artistic climate in which the very act of creation of homoerotic material, as well as to be portrayed thus, is to be disobedient.

Curated by: Diva Gujral, Doctoral Researcher, History of Art, UCL