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Unlimited Intimacy

Wed – Sat, 12 – 5pm

Preview Wednesday 25 October, 5 – 8pm

Vane

Borrowing its title from the 2009 book by Tim Dean, Unlimited Intimacy is a group exhibition that frames the 1980s and 1990s as a politically charged time for LGBTIQA+ histories and movements.

The presentation surveys critical and radical perspectives on gay and queer sexuality through photographic and documentary practices.

The Knight’s Move by Tessa Boffin (1960 – 1993) unapologetically challenges heteronormative representations of historical and mythological figures. The monochromatic works reimagine the Knight, the Knave, the Angel, the Casanova and the Lady-in-Waiting as lesbian protagonists.

Phyllis Christopher presents an intimate and evocative exploration of female sexuality, sensually depicting skin and bodily fluids. The photographs compel viewers to confront the interlaced relationship between sexual desire, pleasure, and pain.

Cruising Delhi in the 80s by Sunil Gupta in conversation with the Indian art historian and gay rights activist Saleem Kidwai (1951 – 2021) is a reflective video work on their shared histories of cruising in Delhi, India.

Stuart Linden Rhodes captures the diverse gay scene and queer club culture of the UK in the 1990s, a period also marked by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, homophobia, and discriminatory laws.

In They Called it Love, But Was it Love?, Charan Singh examines the lives and worlds of the Kothi community, which is often targeted as a ‘risk group’ in India and troubles hetero- and homo-normative notions of gender and sexuality through a non-western lens.

Unlimited Intimacy is part of Assemblage I: Body and Politics hosted by the Department of Art at Northumbria University. Curated by Abdullah Qureshi, a Pakistan-born multidisciplinary artist and curator and Lecturer in Fine Art at Northumbria University.

Selected works

Stuart Linden Rhodes, 'Wolverhampton, The Deep', 1993. Digital photograph

Sunil Gupta, 'Towards an Indian Gay Image – Saleem and me', 1983. Archival inkjet print, 71x106.6cm

Tessa Boffin, 'The Lady-in-Waiting', 1990/2023. Archival inkjet print, 106.7x39cm, edition of 8 plus 2 artist’s proofs. Courtesy the Estate of Tessa Boffin and the Gupta+Singh Archive.

Tessa Boffin, 'The Knight', 1990/2023. Archival inkjet print, 106.7x38.8cm, edition of 8 plus 2 artist’s proofs. Courtesy the Estate of Tessa Boffin and the Gupta+Singh Archive.

Installation views

‘Unlimited Intimacy’, 2023. Installation view. Work by Sunil Gupta (left), Charan Singh (right). Photo: Mark Duffy

‘Unlimited Intimacy’, 2023. Installation view. Photo: Mark Duffy

‘Unlimited Intimacy’, 2023. Installation view. Work by Stuart Linden Rhodes (left), Tessa Boffin (right). Photo: Mark Duffy

‘Unlimited Intimacy’, 2023. Installation view. Work by Tessa Boffin. Photo: Mark Duffy