On the 6th of September, 2018, the Indian Supreme Court ruled to decriminalise gay sex, in a historic and unanimous verdict handed down by a five-judge panel that had a profound impact both in India and across the world. Until now, gay sex had been punishable by up to 10 years in prison under Section 277 of the Indian constitution, a relic of the Victorian-era laws imposed by the British Empire. It outlawed sexual activities “against the order of nature” and was interpreted by police and courts as referring to homosexuality.
The monument shown above takes inspiration from, this event and is a celebration of love in support of the LGBTQ community. The spiral is a symbol of life, growth, change and evolution. Hence, the coiling of two spirals in my monument represents how two people grow and evolve together regardless of gender identities. The spirals are both identical in form, hence showing how people at their very core are all the same – they are all human. Everything else is secondary. So the the relationship shared between two people is a relationship shared between simply two humans. The form of a spiral is also very aesthetically pleasing hence indicating how such a relationship is beautiful regardless surface attributes.
The site I chose for my monument is the broad walk at Worli Sea Face in Mumbai, India. This location is very close to my heart since I have grown up right next to it, and have spent majority of my time there, whether it’s with friends and family, or just alone gazing at the ocean. It has offered me safety and solace in the most testing of times, and hence it has seen my personal growth as a human. Hence, this location was ideal to erect a monument celebrating love, growth and change.
The vibe of this location is very peaceful, open and airy. Keeping this vibe under consideration, I wanted my monument to be as minimalistic as possible and thus I made the wooden box using as little material as possible, yet giving it a unique structure and dimension through the use of positive and negative space within the box. The outer frame is designed to be hollow and face the ocean to allow the ocean air to tunnel through the monument, and allow the viewer to gaze at the ocean through this frame. This forces the viewer to contemplate the themes explored in this monument in the context of the location. The swirls of the spirals mirror the swirly nature of the Worli Sea Face Drive itself.
If constructed in real life, ideally, the monument would be over twice the height of a an average human and would be crafted out of metal as inspired by Richard Serra’s sculptures. The viewer would be invited to walk through the spiral hence making it a very interactive monument.