We are INCREDIBLY excited to help spread the word about CrossLines: A Culture Lab on Intersectionality! 40+ artists are taking over the Smithsonian Arts & Industries Building THIS Memorial Day Weekend: 2 days of art, music, performance, and dialogue, free and open to all. It's a MUSEUM OF THE PEOPLE, brought to you by the SmithsonianAPA; RSVP here and read on: we had #CrossLines artists bring us to their neighborhood Metro station to chat all things intersectionality – meet Avi Gupta.
Avi Gupta's photography draws on his childhood in an immigrant family in the Washington, DC area. We're drawn to the quiet scenes he presents: a scroll through his Instagram, @brownisgood, is at once zen and question-raising; below, images from an ongoing series titled In One's Element.
"Gupta's parents emigrated from India to Arlington, Va., in the mid-1970s, not anticipating they would spend most of their lives away from home. They met at a party in their 20s. 'Dad spoke Bengali and Mother spoke Hindi,' says Gupta, 'so they had to communicate in English.'
When Gupta recalls growing up in the U.S., he says he identifies most with the feeling of being the 'other.' 'I didn't feel American or Indian. I didn't feel a sense of place, of belonging,' he says." – Kainaz Amaria, NPR
What can we expect from you at CrossLines? Can you briefly describe why you chose to include this particular piece in the exhibition? “Heritage” is a photograph of an ordinary found situation. Printed on cotton fabric and showcased in a freestanding display case, the project addresses “heritage” as artifact, and the struggle to maintain or preserve inherited culture.
What do you hope people will take away from your contribution to CrossLines, and from CrossLines in general? For me, geography is defined by culture, and art permeates culture. There are fewer venues in D.C. for exhibiting artists now then there were ten years ago, this seriously affects the culture of the nation’s capital. CrossLines is a great example of a very talented roster of artists with culturally varied viewpoints, shining in solidarity.
Tell us about the Georgia Ave/Petworth Metro Station. What does that station represent? What makes that station - and the area served by it - unique? The station mainly serves Petworth, Upshur, Pleasant Plains, and Parkview, where I currently reside. Like any neighborhood in D.C., Petworth is wading through a sea of socioeconomic change, but unlike most of northwest Washington, the aggregate of past and present development waves are still quite visible. The area hasn’t been completely whitewashed. Yet.