Sunil Gupta and Fiona Anderson in Conversation

Wednesday, September 21

6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. BST

Since the 1970s, Sunil Gupta has taken pictures to mark important moments in the history of international gay rights. Newspaper articles, speeches, and essays show Gupta’s crucial role at the center of grassroots queer and postcolonial organizing throughout an artistic career lived between Canada, the UK, and India. In his pieces about homosexuality in Indian cities, the AIDS crisis, the Black Arts Movement, or key figures including Joy Gregory and Robert Mapplethorpe, Gupta foregrounds the power of cultural activism in the politically fraught contexts of London and Delhi, and illuminates the essential connections between queer migration and self-discovery. Continually questioning given forms of identity, Gupta offers artists and curators multiple strategies of resistance, carving out space for new ways of imagining what it might mean to live, love, and create.

Ahead of the publication of Aperture’s We Were Here: Sexuality, Photography, and Cultural Difference—an unparalleled firsthand account of Gupta’s writings and critical inquiries—join the Association for Art History for a conversation between the artist and art historian and author Fiona Anderson to hear about Gupta’s work with male muses as a powerful means of activism, therapy, and protest.

This event is free, but registration is required.

Sunil Gupta (born in New Delhi, 1953) is a photographer, curator, writer, and activist. Gupta migrated to Canada at the age of fifteen. He was educated in photography at the New School, New York (1976) and the Royal College Art, London (1983). Over a career spanning more than four decades, Gupta has maintained a visionary approach to photography, producing bodies of work that are pioneering in their social and political commentary. The artist’s diasporic experience of multiple cultures informs a practice dedicated to themes of race, migration, and queer identity—his own lived experience a point of departure for photographic projects, born from a desire to see himself and others like him represented in art history. Gupta’s work has been exhibited internationally and published in numerous monographs and catalogues, including Christopher Street, 1976 (2018), From Here to Eternity (2020), and the forthcoming Aperture title We Were Here: Sexuality, Photography, and Cultural Difference (2022).

Fiona Anderson is senior lecturer in art history in the fine art department at Newcastle University. Her queer art historical work focuses on practices of gentrification, preservation, archiving, and histories of HIV/AIDS, mostly in the USA and the UK. She is the author of Cruising the Dead River: David Wojnarowicz and New York’s Ruined Waterfront (2019).

This event is hosted by the Association for Art History as part of their nationwide Art History Festival.

Image Credit: Sunil Gupta, Battersea Park, London 1984. Courtesy the artists and Hales Gallery, Materià Gallery, Stephen Bulger Gallery and Vadehra Art Gallery. © Sunil Gupta. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2022.

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