Dissent and Desire

Exhibition Website

Jan 19 2018 - Apr 29 2018

Presented in conjunction with Houston’s FotoFest 2018 Biennialwhich this year focuses on new media and photography art from India, CAMH showcases photographs by collaborators Sunil Gupta and Charan Singh, in the exhibition Dissent and Desire.

Their documentary color photographs chronicle contemporary LGBTQ+ life in Delhi, India. Gupta and Singh’s project masterfully enables us to witness the intimate, ordinary, and daring moments of seventeen diverse individuals and couples. Gupta and Singh have created a rich and tender mosaic of the ways in which this set of sitters navigate life, work, and love in a country where anti-sodomy laws dating back to the British Empire were only recently struck down in 2009 and then were restored after the Supreme Court reversed the ruling in 2013. 

CAMH will present 40 photographs by Gupta and Singh, as well as a video documenting the narratives of some of the individuals recurring in their photographic work. In addition to being a participating artist, Gupta is the Lead Curator for the FotoFest 2018 Biennial.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website 
Image: Sunil Gupta and Charan Singh, Lily #2, 2015. Archival inkjet print, edition of 2, 15 x 22.5 inches. Courtesy the artists and sepiaEYE, New York, New York.

Whether you go or not, the book, Delhi: Communities of Belonging, offers a stunning series of more than 150 full-color documentary photographs and companion first-person texts, which together offer an unprecedented portrait of LGBTQ people’s lives in India today. Focusing on Delhi, noted photographers Sunil Gupta and Charan Singh chronicle the halting emergence of networks of men and women living under the shadow of stigma and criminalized behavior—in a country where anti-sodomy laws dating back to the British Empire were recently struck down, only to be reaffirmed in a surging wave of homophobia.

The photographs in this lavishly presented volume reflect the photographers’ celebrated capacity for entering into lives rarely seen. The book invites the reader into the daily routines, work, homes, and intimate lives of subjects from different backgrounds—from urban professionals to day laborers. A visually arresting document in its own right, the book presents American readers with a starting point for understanding the profound struggles for recognition by India’s LGBTQ community.

Select Delhi: Communities of Belonging to learn more or to add the book to your Amazon shopping cart.

  • Photography
  • Asian
  • Contemporary
  • Culture / Lifestyle
  • India
  • Sunil Gupta
  • Charan Singh

Exhibition Venues & Dates