DIVERSIONS showcases the photographic outcomes of an ongoing artistic dialogue between emerging artists Ravinder Rai and Sebastián Benítez. Engaging in themes of contemporary identity, culture, image, objects, commodification, and sexuality, this exhibition shares a process of awareness and discovery as Rai and Benítez photographically respond to each other’s work. Featuring playful and clever self-portraits and still life photographs, this exhibition also incorporates elements of installation and mixed media.
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; the work construes otherwise repressed narratives and ruminations while visually retaining a degree of authorial anonymity. Benítez’s series Feint navigates through a myriad of objects and images aimed toward a queer audience, specifically gay men, such as movie memorabilia, novelty items, and travel guides. His work invites viewers to consider the different motivations and underlying narratives that underpin these objects.