‘Love Birds’ by Ravinder Rai
DIVERSIONS, curated by Devan Patel, showcases the photographic outcomes of an ongoing artistic dialogue between emerging artists Ravinder Rai and Sebastián Benítez. Engaging in themes of contemporary identity, image, commodification, and sexuality, this exhibition shares a process of awareness and discovery as Rai and Benítez photographically respond to each other’s work. Navigating through objects to compose and create playful and clever photographs, this exhibition also incorporates elements of installation.
Ravinder Rai’s practice pursues a reflexive exploration of identity, desire, and the presentation of the self. Positioning himself as the subject of abstract study, he uses photographic still lifes to interpret his experiences as a closeted gay individual. In this way, the work construes otherwise repressed narratives and ruminations while visually retaining a degree of authorial anonymity.
Sebastián Benítez’ series Feint navigates and negotiates through a myriad of objects and images marketed towards gay men, such as movie memorabilia, novelty items, and gay travel guides. Benítez’ work explores his own personal positioning in relation to these commodities, while inviting the viewer to consider the different motivations, relationships and underlying discourses that underpin these objects.
Opening Reception: Thursday April 28th 6-10pm
Exhibition Dates: April 28 – May 15, 2016
1109 Queen St E , Toronto
This exhibition is Featured with the CONTACT Photography Festival 2016