Sharan Bala
Thesis: Appels and Pears

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 filled with 160 printed pages of my medical dossier requested from the Amsterdam UMC hospitals. The official letters found within the archive form a timeline of which the notes and reports branch out. The letters give an honest inside to the medical gaze and describe numerous non-consensual, medically unnecessary surgeries and interventions performed between 1986 and 2012, objectifying and medicalizing my healthy intersex body.

2. On the opposite side, there is a screen in front of a closed curtain showing a looped video recording of me reenacting the ancient marble sculpture The Sleeping Hermaphrodite. Contrary to the ancient figure who is 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.