Oral History of British Photography. Gupta, Sunil. (7 of 9)
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Gupta, Sunil, 1953- (speaker, male)
Read, Shirley (speaker, female)
Part 7. Sunil Gupta [SG] comments on the start of Autograph a membership of black photographers; research money from Barry Lane; Merle Van Den Bosch; Rotimi Fani-Kayode; effect of the association. Describes SG’s work managing Autograph; use of computers, newsletter; financial implications of work. Mentions living in London; housing co-op in Holloway; then lived with friend in Tufnell Park. Describes studio; renting a space with Syd Shelton, Ruth Gregory and Andy Dark. Mentions buying place in Brixton; Autograph provided permanent work; describes problems with getting regular magazine work. Comments on going to India; commission from Alex (Photographers Gallery). Mentions speaking at Photographic Education Society (SPE) in Houston, America; going to Photofest. Describes other projects; article called ‘Desire and Black Men’ based on Guardian photograph; research with Simon Watney on AIDS for screen; Lyn Brown curates show at Randolph Street gallery; work about clause 28; Viewpoint Gallery had to withdraw exhibition. Describes life while working for Autograph; based in Bon Marche building, Brixton, London; difficulties of running association; explains why SG left; Autograph after he left. Comments on work and contacts; tried to make links with Deborah Willis; becoming less active in gay movement and Gay Switchboard; meeting Tessa Boffin and working on ‘Ecstatic Antibodies’; exhibition with Jean Fraser (Camerawork Exhibitions Advisory Committee); ILEA workshop; Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) show ’The Difference Show’ with New Museum of Contemporary Arts, New York; Victor Burgin, Mary Kelly, Doug Prince, Yve Lomax, and Sherri Levine; describes show; SG’s follow up show.
Performer notes : Interviewee is a Dehli-born photographer and curator, emigrated to Canada in 1969. Studied at WSCAD (Farnham) in the late 1970s. Founder of Autograph (The Association of Black Photographers). A central figure in photography from the early 1980s. Has exhibited widely in the UK and abroad. Publications include: Ecstatic Antibodies: Resisting the AIDS Mythology (with Tessa Boffin) (1990), An Economy of Signs (1990) and Disrupted Borders (1993). Special interest in gay issues and questions of ethnicity.