Saturday, August 11, 2012

A new media artist who examines conflict, security, human rights and technology

Shilpa Gupta’s works are done in a wide array of media, such as video, objects, performances, photography, and sound. She examines themes including desire, conflict, security, militarism, human rights and technology.

Her application of new media reveals her interest in deciphering its impact on our understanding of the surrounding political realm. Having hosted a solo of her works in 2009 Yvon Lambert in Paris had applauded her among India’s most talented young artists, who is interested in notions of perception, and employs interaction as a means of inviting viewers to take part in exploring this. Several of her projects over the years have touched upon the theme of border crisis between warring neighbors India and Pakistan, and the resulting tension as well as loss of life in Kashmir.

A solo exhibition of recent works, entitled ‘Someone Else’ took place at Mumbai-based Chemould Prescott Road some time ago. Throwing light on one of her works on view, an accompanying note had explained: “As we sit and behold the flapboard in Untitled (2008-09), words and phrases are constantly falling back on themselves, in an associative pattern.

“Incisive groupings emerge marking arrivals and departures, numbers become years, distances and tallies of people migrating and those lost in such movement. An effected rhythm is established as each (un)real phrase melts away into the next, conjuring up the tangible sensations of dissonance and dislocation. However, when a grouping ends and the following battery is about to set off, a brief punctuation in the rotary waves of words, letters and numbers is experienced. It is an unexpected occasion of complete suspension.”

Considering new-age technology as an extension of body, mind as well as perception, the artist exudes a political consciousness about the role, aesthetics and psychology of these novel forms. Indeed, she is a highly talented artist who assiduously examines issues related to security, human rights and technology in different media and forms.

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