In Leather Bar in Bangalore, Arjun Lal presents an alternative perspective to stagnant traditions in contemporary queer-fetish culture. They explore submissive and dominant power dynamics with new visual symbols that are inspired by their own lived experiences as a queer Indian diasporic person.
Through their observations of fetish and sex positive communities across Turtle Island and Berlin, Lal observes a lack of representation of minority aesthetics, while those that do exist routinely eroticize themes of submission within the context of colonial oppression. Queer leather and latex communities commonly fetishize symbols from colonial-settler cultural iconography like kilts, lederhosen, American sports gear, military, and police uniforms, as well as catholic paraphernalia. This has Lal working to present bodies of work that celebrate their own cultural iconography while fetishizing their own brown body, on their own terms.
‘My intention is to fill voids in queer colonial visual culture.’-Arjun Lal, Kjipuktuk/Halifax