Making Place explores the contours of queer desire and its complex manifestations in the digital age through the work of Karachibased artist Fazal Rizvi and Delhi-based artist Sandip Kuriakose.
Apps such as Grindr and Tindr have become new modes of connecting for gay men, transforming cruising which has historically occurred in the underground nightlife of the city. These ne digital spaces offer a possibility of anonymity and cut across class, allowing for their protagonists to perform alternate identities. Works by these artists bring together text, video and prints to explore broader questions about economy, desire, class and formations of identity that occur through these digital sites. Navigation of this liminal space of identity is a way to form new alliances and possibilities of existence. This can also be translated to the space of urban itself, where public spaces of sexual/ social encounters such as parks, public urinals, clubs and Sufi shrines have been a part of the gay male experience and has historically informed a corpus of art and literary writing by artists such as Prem Sahib and Sunil Gupta. How do these experiences evolve in the digital age and what are the interactions between these two?
Both Rizvi and Kuriakose, whose work is in rooted in their local urban geography are divided by national borders. This does not preclude the cultural similarities and references of both India and Pakistan
that emerge in their work, allowing for a potent dialogue. Underlying in the work is the possibility of these liminal spaces as imagined utopias dissipating the hard border and envisioning a possibility of connections that resist narrow nationalisms. In doing so, the work also becomes a way to imagine a queer future of liberation and possibility of a broader united South Asia.