Perception and Power: Shilpa Gupta
Shilpa Gupta (b. 1976) is a Mumbai-based conceptual artist who reflects upon ideas of identity and power in her work. In a practice that spans a wide range of mediums, Gupta often employs participatory elements and incorporates technology to invite audiences to consider critical and sensitive social issues concerning religion, conflict and censorship, among others.
In the early years of the millennium, one of Gupta’s first interactive internet artworks, Blessed-bandwidth.net (2003) garnered much attention. This innovative work from the early days of public internet service in India anticipated the interplay of the real and the virtual that is now central to our lives. The work’s website invited visitors to choose a faith, based on which they could be blessed digitally. As we see in these screenshots, when people explored the website, they encountered various regulations and announcements related to worship. By transforming this act of prayer into a transactional, convenient and deliberately consumerist experience, Gupta’s work offered a powerful critique of the relationship between capitalism and religion.
Gupta’s works have since explored a range of issues using a variety of materials and strategies. Watch the video below to learn more about her practice!
To learn more about Shilpa Gupta’s conceptual artworks, we recommend the following articles from the MAP Academy website!