Welcome to Archive/Counterarchive

Crossing/Crosser: Language, Borders and Generations Screening & Talk

1515 Sainte Catherine Street West
Montreal QC H3G1S6


Please join Archive/Counter-Archive Concordia, in collaboration with les Archives gaies du Québec, on Friday April 19th for "Crossing/Crosser: Language, Borders and Generations", a screening and conversation between UK-based researcher Conal McStravick and photographer Sunil Gupta about transnational 2SLGBTQ+ and AIDS activism in the UK, Québec and Canada. Excerpts from Over Our Dead Bodies (1991) and Blue Boys (1992), directed by Stuart Marshall, will be screened, along with materials from the AGQ collections and Gupta's photographic archive. Please see below for presenter bios and full description.

Location: Concordia University EV Building, 1.615, 1515 Sainte Catherine Street West
Date: April 19th, 2024

Time: 10:30am-1pm
Coffee and treats will be available before the event, and lunch will be served afterward.

Full description: This live archive research event will share materials from the Archives gaies de Québec to frame an online conversation between London-based Canadian photographer Sunil Gupta (b. 1953, New Delhi, India) and UK-based PhD researcher Conal McStravick (b. 1979, Lurgan, N. Ireland). This event sits within McStravick's current AHRC-funded PhD research placement at AGQ and their doctoral research project: "Learning in a fantastically public medium," on the LGBTQ+ and AIDS video activist Stuart Marshall (1949-1993).

A series of archival encounters between the AGQ collection and Gupta's photographic archive will frame a discussion on transnational 2SLGBTQ+ and AIDS activism in the UK, Québec and Canada. This includes Gupta's collaborations with Marshall: the UK TV documentaries Over Our Dead Bodies (1991) and Blue Boys (1992) and the touring exhibition and publication Ecstatic Antibodies: Resisting the AIDS Mythology (1990-1991).

This will consider the intersections of 2SLGBTQ+, HIV/AIDS, BIPOC and anti-censorship cultural activism across five decades.

Image credit:
Publicity photo for Over Our Dead Bodies (dir. Stuart Marshall, 1991), photographed by Sunil Gupta,
(courtesy of The British Artists' Film & Video Study Collection & Mayavision).
Title sequence for Blue Boys (dir. Stuart Marshall, 1992)(courtesy of Mayavision).

Conal McStravick bio:
Conal McStravick (b.1979, Lurgan, N. Ireland, based in Glasgow, Scotland) is an Irish-born, Glasgow, Scotland-based, queer/non-binary artist currently undertaking an AHRC-funded collaborative PhD between Northumbria University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and the artists’ moving image organisation LUX, in the UK. The subject of McStravick’s research is the English media artist and AIDS activist Stuart Marshall (1949-1993), who was an influential figure in UK artists’ video and 2SLGBTQIA+ and AIDS activist networks in Canada in the 1980s and early 1990s.
Their research is situated between the UK and archives in Europe and North America that hold traces of Marshall's widely dispersed sound, performance, video, television and treatment activist practices. Through live and online events, oral history gathering and scholarly research this aims to contextualise Marshall's methods of practice to establish the first critical and historical analysis of Marshall. To re-connect histories and practices of artist-led 2SLGBTQIA+ and HIV/AIDS transnational activism to re-consider and recontextualize this in the web 2.0 present.

Sunil Gupta bio:
Sunil Gupta is a photographer, artist, educator and curator who completed a doctoral program at the University of Westminster in 2018. Educated at the Royal College of Art, Gupta has been involved with independent photography as a critical practice for many years focusing on race, migration and queer issues. In the 1980s, Gupta constructed documentary images of gay men in architectural spaces in Delhi, his "Exiles" series. The images and texts describe the conditions for gay men in India at the times. Gupta's series "Mr. Malhotra's Party" updates this theme during a time in which queer identities are more open and also reside in virtual space on the internet and in private parties. His early series "Christopher Street, New York" was shot in the mid-1970s as Gupta studied under Lisette Model at the New School for Social Research and became interested in the idea of gay public space.

Gupta's published work include the monographs: queer: Sunil Gupta (Prestel/Vadehra Art Gallery, 2011), Wish You Were Here: Memories of a Gay Life (Yoda Press, New Delhi, 2008), and Pictures From Here (Chris Boot Ltd., New York, 2003).  In 2018, with Charan Singh, Gupta exhibited "Dissent and Desire" (catalogue) at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, which was accompanied by the book, Delhi: Communities of Belonging (The New Press, New York, 2016). His last publication was Christopher Street (Stanley Barker, 2018) and his forthcoming publications are Lovers: Ten Years On (Stanley Barker, 2020), and Sunil Gupta: From Here to Eternity (Autograph, 2020). His work has been shown in many important group exhibitions including "Paris, Bombay, Delhi…" at the Pompidou Centre, Paris, 2011, and "Masculinities" at Barbican, London, 2020. His retrospective takes place at The Photographers' Gallery, London, 2020, and Ryerson Image Center, Toronto, 2021. Gupta is a Professorial Fellow at UCA, Farnham, and Visiting Tutor at the Royal College of Art, London, and was the Lead Curator for the Houston Fotofest in 2018. Gupta's work is in many private and public collections including, George Eastman House (Rochester, USA); Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography (Japan); Philadelphia Museum of Art (USA); Royal Ontario Museum (Canada); Tate (London, UK); Harvard University (Cambridge, USA); and the Museum of Modern Art (New York, USA).