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SHILPA GUPTA (B. 1976)
SHILPA GUPTA (B. 1976)

There is No Explosive in This

Details
SHILPA GUPTA (B. 1976)
There is No Explosive in This
inscribed and titled 'Shilpa Gupta There is no Explosive in This #4, 2007 C-Print on archival paper Diasec mounted Edition 1/6 71 x 106.5 cm.' (on Albion Gallery label on the reverse);

inscribed and titled 'Shilpa Gupta There is no explosive in this #1, 2007 C-Print on archival paper Diasec mounted Edition 1/6 71 x 106.5 cm.' (on Albion Gallery label on the reverse)
C-print on archival paper
28 x 41 7/8 in. (71.1 x 106.3 cm.) each
Executed in 2007; Number one from an edition of six; Three works on paper
3 (3)
Provenance
Albion Gallery, London
Exhibited
New Delhi, Vadehra Gallery, Recent Works - Shilpa Gupta, 14 - 24 March, 2009 (another from the edition)
Berlin, Galerie Volker Diehl, SHILPA GUPTA STARSBLIND BLINDSTARS, June - August, 2008 (another from the edition)

Lot Essay

"Gupta's art ranges across the domains of psyche, society, polity and nation to articulate their repressed contents." (N. Adajania, ed., 'Shilpa Gupta's Experiments With Truth', Shilpa Gupta, New Delhi, 2009, p. 182)

Shilpa Gupta interrogates sociopolitical mores in the context of ever increasing global flows. Her approach to the taboo subject of terrorism questions public attitudes and sentiments in today's society today. Gupta broaches this sensitive subject through the documentation of performance, inviting others to participate in the dynamic of power relations. In this work Gupta documents volunteers, their identities concealed, brandishing a large bag printed with the proclamation 'There is No Explosive In This', as they carry out every day commutes in London, from public streets to the London Underground. Created in 2007, the same year as the 7/7 bombings in London, the paradoxical message seems to go unnoticed by surrounding public. Conscious of the inscrutability of instincts such as fear and panic, the juxtaposition of the police car in one photograph, sardonically emphasizes the idea of a society living in a state of perpetual red alert. Inevitably, the statement raises doubt and discomfort, not only for the individual carrying the bag but also those who encounter it. Packed with underlying irony, the work successfully illustrates the irrational and overwhelming fear of terrorism. Gupta blurs the boundary between artist, work and the viewer to create a fluid interaction whereby all contributors share accountability.
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