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June 05, 2006

Shilpa Gupta


The Dwindling Power of Individual Reason

Bose Pacia presents recent work by Shilpa Gupta from May 17th through June 24th. Shilpa Gupta creates artwork using interactive websites, video, gallery environments and public performances to probe and examine subversively such themes as consumer culture, exploitation of labor, militarism and human rights abuse. In her debut solo exhibition in New York, Gupta presents an interactive video installation as well as other multimedia works and photography.

Her Untitled, 2004-2005 (interactive video) is an interactive new media installation in which the viewer is invited to manipulate a large wall projection. The projection features several figures in fashionable camouflage clothing engaged in various poses. The absurdity of their gestures and costumes recall both the mimicry games of childhood and the unforgiving rigor and conformity of military drills. In enabling the viewer as a participant, the work comments upon the dwindling power of individual reason in the face of 'mindless violence' borne out of fundamentalism and imperialism.

Her Untitled, 2005-2006 (touch screens) initially appears benign in content. One screen presents a bucolic landscape, another, the laughing faces of children, a third, a misty window. As the viewer touches each screen to initiate activity, darker truths emerge. The lush countryside of Kashmir is dotted with military guards and the smiling children are innocently posing alongside the remains of a bomb blast. From the misty window, a finger follows that of the viewer to spell out a militaristic alphabet: A for army, B for bomb, C for curfew. Gupta guides her audience to reveal the fear and uncertainty that pervade everyday life in this contested terrain and more broadly, demonstrates how truth is a fragile construction utterly dependant on the direction and intensity of one?s gaze.

Shilpa Gupta was born in Mumbai, India in 1976 and studied sculpture at the Sir J. J. School of Art there. She has exhibited widely and recent shows include the Havana Biennial (2006), ICC Tokyo (2005), Edge of Desire (New York, 2005) and Century City at the Tate Modern (2001, London). She was also commissioned to create Blessed Bandwidth.net, a net art project for Tate Online. In 2005 she was a runner-up for the Leonardo Global Crossings Award, Leonardo Magazine, MIT Press and in 2004, she was awarded the prestigious Transmediale Award in Berlin. Upcoming projects include the 2006 Sydney Biennial, the 2006 Liverpool Biennial and a two-person exhibition at Daimler Chrysler Contemporary in Berlin. Gupta currently lives and works in Mumbai.

Bose Pacia is located at 508 West 26th Street on the 11th Floor, in the Chelsea district of New York City. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 12 to 6 pm and by appointment.

Posted by jo at June 5, 2006 11:39 AM