This seminar examines two approaches to transnational artistic and curatorial production in London, and will invite Sunil Gupta and Grant Watson to revisit key projects with an emphasis on research and practice in South Asia.
Leela Gandhi’s book Affective Communities (2006) recuperated micro-narratives, moments of anti-imperial resistance and political strategies that created a shared solidarity between queer and postcolonial communities. As curators negotiate unprecedented access to international art, this seminar will reconsider recent exhibition histories through alternative curatorial models that deploy international networks of shared knowledge, radical practice, resistance or refusal.
Sunil Gupta is an artist, educator and curator, and works with photography as a critical practice. He studied at the Royal College of Art and was a co-founder of Autograph. He produced exhibitions of Indian and diaspora artists in the 1980s under the Iniva franchise OCA, then termed ‘cultural activism’. His work, sometimes autobiographical, has chronicled queer lives and experiences. Born in Delhi and now based in London, Gupta is Canadian and has lived in and visited India frequently, witnessing economic and cultural transformation produced by globalisation from the 1990s onwards. Gupta is currently serving as the Visiting Professor of Photography at the University for the Creative Arts, Farnham.
Grant Watson is a curator and researcher based in London. His curatorial projects, including Santhal Family: Positions Around an Indian Sculpture 2007 and projects with individual artists such as Sheela Gowda, are based on long-term research and collaboration. Recent projects such as How We Behave with If I Can’t Dance, Amsterdam, explore questions of life practice and politics through filmed interviews conducted in cities including London, Sao Paulo, Mumbai and Los Angeles. Watson also serves as a Tutor of Curatorial Theory at the Royal College of Art and is currentlyworking on the major research project looking at global Bauhaus reception histories to mark the centenary in 2019.
This discussion is informed by the Bhupen Khakhar retrospective at Tate Modern that closed in November, and precedes Queer British Art at Tate Britain next April. Following the presentations, the panel will be chaired by Nada Raza, the Research Curator at Tate Research Centre: Asia and the curator of the Bhupen Khakhar exhibition.
Tate Research Centre: Asia has been established with generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.