TIRUVANANTHAPURAM : Homosexuality is a hot topic now, with the Supreme Court reassessing its previous order regarding the contentious section 377. If legality is one side of the coin, social acceptance and inclusiveness are the other. To this effect is the functioning of Kochi-based organisation Queerala, working for LGBTIQ people. Seeking various avenues within the Malayali life, their latest endeavour is to bring forth a cultural narrative through the medium of art.
Jijo Kuriakose, the co-founder of the group says, “A while back, I was invited to a discussion conducted by Kerala History Museum, Kochi- on making the space public-friendly. As per our suggestion, they decided to host more exhibitions highlighting human rights issues. This is how we came to organise Homomorphism II, an exhibition featuring the take of seven artists (including Pragya P, Aishwaryan K, Arvin O, Santanu D, Sandeep T K, Mahesh M and Jijo Q) on same-sex intimacy.”
According to the collective, the state has done a lot to accommodate the community into mainstream society—including leading the national discourse on transgender rights. But, adversely, this has created another downside. “A general tendency nowadays is to discuss gender issues but not those associated with sexuality. We’re trying to break these notions of tying these two together,” says the 34-year-old.
The eight-day event hopes to challenge the prominence of heteronormativity in the current artistic and social sphere of Kerala.“The team believes that beyond the creation of a movement, such expressions will help youngsters belonging to sexual minorities to better embrace their identity,” claims Jijo, elaborating, “Our exhibition will discuss issues beyond the mere act of sex, and explore realms like emotions and romance.”
Unity of cause is not the only interesting fact about the event. Unlike the debut edition of the exhibition, diverse voices also include out-of-the-state representation fromplaces namely Kolkata and Mauritius. Even with a majority among the seven not being trained artists, they bring interesting mediums to record their depictions of solitude, single-hood, nostalgia, and desires.
Besides paintings and drawings using widespread mediums like acrylic paint, the halls will also see the use of innovative surfaces like paper derived out of elephant excrement. Mashup of means like the use of tempera and micron pen and digital art by figures like Mumbai-based creator Pragya P—who brings the lesbian perspective into the show—will make the show interesting for art aficionados. From July 14-21. At Kerala Museum, Kochi.