Though the Indian government has made it clear it has no intentions of recriminalizing homosexuality, LGBT issues are still contentious: An exhibition by gay photographer Sunil Gupta closed Saturday after police stormed the gallery and ordered it shuttered.
Sponsored by Alliance Française as part of the current Francophone Festival, “Sun City & Other Stories” opened Friday and was still in previews at New Delhi’s Galerie Romain Rolland when an attendee notified the police that it contained obscene images. Reports the Hindustani Times:
When we contacted the Tughlaq Road police station, an official said, “A man named Hargobind Arora called up that the show has adult and nude photos on display. That’s when we sent a squad.”
Gupta is being diplomatic about the whole thing, telling the Times, “I’m not in a position to say anything. Calling off the exhibition was Alliance Française’s decision.”
One commentor in the Hindustani Times story says the police action represents a double standard:
“Make no mistake, this is homophobia. Plenty of naked women exhibitions have happened as excellent art. Plenty of naked men. Alarms blare when there are two naked men together.”
“Sun City & Other Stories” ran without incident at France’s prestigious Center Pompidou. Though not all the images in the show were explicit, a series shot in a bathhouse depicts naked men. “There were men in towels so lots of thighs and torsos but no genitals were showing,” Gupta told The Times of India.
Nudes in an art show? Perish the thought!
Images via Sunil Gupta