58th Venice Biennale Review: Brilliance and Bluster

By Jennifer Higgie | Frieze Magazine

Shilpa Gupta’s elegiac multi-channel sound installation, For, In Your Tongue I Cannot Fit (2017–18), commemorates the words of 100 poets, from the seventh century until recent times, who were jailed or executed for their political beliefs. (The title is a line from a poem by the mystical 14th-century Azerbaijani poet Seyid ─░madeddin Nesimi, who was flayed to death for speaking his mind.) 100 microphones are suspended above 100 metal spikes, each of which pierces a piece of paper inscribed with a fragment of a poem. The microphones function as speakers, broadcasting poems in Arabic, Azeri, English, Hindi, Russian and Spanish. In a recent interview, Gupta said that she created the installation in order to highlight ‘the fragility and vulnerability of our right to freedom of expression today’.

9 May 2019