Sharan Bala 

Title: trying not to know is an active process of denial and forgetting, don’t forget to forget.

The installation consists of two parts facing each other.


1. A wall full of 160 pages of my medical records retrieved from the Amsterdam UMC hospitals. The official letters in he archive form a timeline on which the records branch out. The letters give an honest insight into the medical gaze and describe numerous non-consensual, medically unnecessary surgeries and procedures performed between 1986 and 2012, objectifying and medicalising my healthy intersex body.


2. On the opposite side, a screen in front of a closed curtain shows a looping video of me reenacting the ancient marble sculpture ‘The Sleeping Hermaphrodite’. In contrast to the ancient figure sleeping and therefore exposed to the voyeuristic male gaze, the tableau vivant is awake and confidently confronts the medical gaze and the space in between, where the viewer is invited to take part in the conversation.




If, after reading this description or having watched the video portrait, you want to read more, we refer you to Stichting NNID and their website And meetings are organised via, which can be very nice for people who are not yet in contact with other intersex people




This video portrait is part of a series of eight video portraits of selected 2022 graduation projects as part of Rietveld Review(ed). With these portraits, the art academy Gerrit Rietveld Academie highlights and celebrates remarkable art projects by the next generation of artists. Each video portrait was made in close collaboration with the artists to give insight into their way of thinking and working.