Art exhibition in Delhi challenges the status-quo of the LGBTQIA+ community

For a visual arts exhibition mounted at the American Centre, queer art is about challenging the status quo and breaking free from dominant ideas.

For a visual arts exhibition mounted at the American Centre, queer art is about challenging the status quo and breaking free from dominant ideas. The “ME WE” exhibition, put together by cultural curator Myna Mukherjee, celebrates 25 artist voices, self-identified as queer. The diverse works span paintings, photographs, sculptures, videos, sci-fi fantasia, comic-book graphic art and digital media appropriations. “Whatever is different from status quo is what queer is. Queer art is really a wide rainbow-like umbrella of different kinds of thoughts. It is arts that change art practice and status quo of that point in time,” Mukherjee said. The exhibition is a “joint effort of 34 Delhi-based embassies” towards universalising human rights and supporting the LGBTQIA+ community during International Pride month, a statement said.

The artists featured in the exhibition work at the intersections of identity and life experience. The list of artists includes iconic photographers like Ram Rahman and Sonia Khurana, as well as established artists like Balbir Krishan, Valay Gada, Inder Salim and Satadru Sovan. Mukherjee is the director of Engendered, a transnational arts and human rights organisation, and believes that we’re living in “times of shrinking spaces and rising invisibilities, so this exhibition was really important.” The exhibition, put together in 10 days, illuminates the “complex landscape of gender, pleasure, fantasy and desire here, today, now”.

The curator expressed concern over artists self-censoring themselves and visual culture becoming hegemonic. To counter this, she said: “The time is to be explicit and the time is now.” The exhibition is open for public display till July 8.

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This is a great example of how art museums can engage with the 99% (and potentially get gov't funding for their work) while rejecting a 1% mindset. Museums are places of healing, community, and many other things. Not just rich people's baubles.

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