Shilpa Gupta

There is No Border Here | New York, Rockefeller Plaza | photograph, archival print on paper; diptych | 81.5 x 212 cm

“[Gupta] is not just going through the post-colonial checklist; her eyes are wide open.”

Ronald Jones, in Frieze Magazine

Shilpa Gupta does it all. She makes videos, websites, art objects, photographs, sound and public performances, and combines them in daring, unexpected ways. They are high-concept meditations on desire, religion, consumer culture, security and the surveillance society, and on the shifting nature of borders, both imagined and natural—as arbitrary as a colonial border, as immovable as the Hindu Kush.

Audience participation is a key component of many of her works. As Deepanjana Pal puts it for The Sunday Guardian, “The only thing you’re assured of in a Shilpa Gupta show is that it will surprise you and there will be at least one interactive element.” In Shadow 3 (2007), for example, spectators’ silhouettes are projected onto a wall, their shadows threatened by the shadows of falling, accumulating debris. In Speaking Wall (2010), viewers are invited to stand on a pathway of bricks that lead straight into a wall; instructions coming through a set of headphones repeatedly invite them to adjust their position relative to the wall, while an embedded sensor tracks their movement.

Such interactions challenge notions of who—or what—is looking. “I am interested in the blurring of authorship of a work and in the process of understanding an object when it transits into different zones,” Gupta explains. “Participation allows some of these encounters to take place.”

Gupta was born in Mumbai, where she continues to live and work. Her work has shown in solo exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati, OH; Museum voor Moderne Kunst, in Arnhem, Holland; the OK Center for Contemporary Art in Linz, Austria, and other institutions, along with galleries in Paris, Mumbai and New Delhi. For 2013, her work is slated to appear at the Sharjah Biennial and as part of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museums’ exhibition, “No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia,” which travels to New York, Singapore and Hong Kong.

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Works by Shilpa Gupta

Specialists in South Asian Modern+Contemporary Art at Christie's

  • Deepanjana D. Klein PhD
    • South Asian Modern + Contemporary Art
    • New York
    • International Head of Department
    • +1 212 636 2189
  • Sonal Singh

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