Shilpa Gupta

I look at things with eyes different from yours

“A mirror with a red velour curtain drawn over it, with the text I Look at Things emroidered on it. When you draw the courtain aside, the sentence continues on the mirror – With Eyes Different from Yours – and the viewer sees himself in reflection. As a general comment the statement functions as a catalyst for the artistic process. The artist looks at the world, shows it to us, and we are induced to reflect on our own starting point. ‘I Look at Things With Eyes Different from Yours’ is a sentence that marks a fundamental existential condition: that we see the world in terms of our own surroundings, and that the Other is always somewhere else, with other eyes – and that this awarness is the best starting point for seeing and understanding one another with respect. Just as art can move us to such reflection.”

Donated by Laura Colnaghi Calissoni. Print on mirror, curtain embroidered on metal rod, 2010, 147 × 104 × 12.5 cm. Ed. 1/3. Photography © Daniel Moulinet

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I look at things with eyes different from yours di Shilpa Gupta Part detail

Born in 1976 in Mumbai, India, where she lives and works.

Shilpa Gupta trained as a sculptor at the Sir J. J. School of Fine Arts in Mumbai. Although her artistic production is mainly plastic in nature, the artist began very early on to experiment with a wide range of expressive media such as performance, photography and video as well as interactive and multimedia installations. The predominant themes in her work are of a social kind – such as the manipulation of the working classes through religion, politics, desire, security and the market – and a critique of the system of valorisation of works in the art world. With concise conceptual gestures formalised through texts, actions, objects and installations, the artist explores the concepts of nation, identity, surveillance and the control of individual freedoms and boundaries, viewed in their physical and ideological meaning. Her work goes through a perennial state of tension and uncertainty that reflects the history of independent India.