Installations that aren’t aloof

By Nonika Singh | The Tribune

Call her a political activist, liberal thinker or cutting edge artist, internationally acclaimed Shilpa Gupta is a voice that resonates and echoes concerns that deal with a multitude of issues. There is no pigeonhole in which you can confine her or her art.

Concerned more with the possibility of art than the simple making and of creating images, she has been questioning/contemplating what objects truly stand for, since the beginning of her art practice. Back in time, as a college student, she posted unsigned drawings to 300 people, each stamped with a suggestion: dispose of after use. The idea was to understand whether art is an experience or merely an object worthy of possession.

Constantly blurring the notion of authorship and ownership, she brings the viewer into her work by asking them to draw maps or insisting that they take something away from her exhibition. She reasons: “The work slips into different contexts. Say, when it moves from an art gallery to an unfamiliar domestic context... perhaps slipped into your wardrobe, or placed on the bathroom counter or if you walk the streets with it, the meaning and how you look at it can alter.”

2 June 2019