Professor Debanuj DasGupta was co-convener of the recently concluded art exhibition
and symposium, Vichitra Desh/Queer Nation. The exhibition featured over 30 artists
engaging with queer bodies and desires. Curated by Myna Mukherjee from Engendered
Arts in New Delhi, the exhibition was like an assemblage of interdisciplinary art, theory
and praxis that brought together visual and performance art, social science research,
life-stories, and activist ephemera as a way of narrating themes of queer life-making,
identity, bodies, desires at the margins of life and death. Murmurs and exchanges
between friendship networks, the artist’s studio, and the academics desk fermenting a
critical counter public that questions fantasies of nation building. A shape shifting, rather
queer assemblage indeed!
The artists featured in the exhibition are working at the intersections of identity and life
experience, genre and process. The art works represented a diverse cross-section of
paintings and photographs, sculptures & videos, comic-book graphic art and new age
digital media appropriations. Shattering mythologies of desire and intimacies, the works
range from polished and seasoned to raw and sometimes even incomplete, exposed as
they are to the vulnerability of love and loss that is immediate and personal. They
illuminate the complex landscape of gender, pleasure, fantasy and desire. Two of UCSB
Feminist Studies faculties were featured in the exhibition.
There were two oil paintings based on Professor Matt Richardson’s recent novel Black
Canvass. Alongside Richardson’s work the graphic novel being produced by Dr.
DasGupta as a apart of their COVID-19 and Trans/Queer Life making project was also
being showcased at the popular being a co-convener Prof. DasGupta Is in collaboration
with University of California, Feminist Studies Department, at the iconic
Visual Art Gallery, India Habitat Centre, the art and scholarship assembled
at Vichitra Desh - Queer Nation gestures toward diverse life-worlds that multiply
rhizomatically in the wake of deadly pandemics & politics in the contemporary times.
The symposium titled Qonclave featured over 22 thought leaders, fashion designer’s
activists fighting to change LGBTQ recognition in India, policy makers and AI artists.
The symposium was planned as a way for holding public dialog between queer theory
and praxis, a sort of theory from flesh that helped to foster dissident joy at a time of
Event details: Name: Vichitra Desh - Queer Nation Dates: November 1 - 5 Venue:
Visual Art Gallery, India Habitat Centre. You can visit some of the media articles about
November 13, 2023 - 1:21pm