Shilpa Gupta brings Venice Biennale installation to Dallas Contemporary

Dallas Contemporary presents Shilpa Gupta’s installation For, In Your Tongue, I Cannot Fit. This represents the artist’s first solo exhibition in America in over a decade. Following its debut at the Edinburgh Arts Festival in 2018 and later shown as part of the 58th Venice Biennale in 2019, the multi-channel immersive sound installation will span over 3,000 sq. ft. and include 100 speakers embedded into microphones, suspended from the ceiling. The Shilpa Gupta sound installation will be on view through February 13, 2022.

The artwork is the outcome of a long-term research project into persecuted poets across time and geographies.

Organized by Emily Edwards, Dallas Contemporary’s Assistant Curator, Mumbai-based artist Shilpa Gupta’s presentation is a multi-channel immersive sound installation. With this work, Gupta gives the microphone back to those who were rendered voiceless. The physical installation hosts an audio loop which shares the words of poets who have been subjected to imprisonment, detainment and execution.

The reading of poem fragments alternates amongst the microphone speakers creating an immersive experience.

The poems range from those written in the eighth century to present day, with authors spanning the globe. Read in English, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Azeri and Hindi, amongst others, the piece reflects language as a tool of power that different states continually have tried to control.

For over two decades, Shilpa Gupta has explored how best to incorporate elements of sound into her work. Gupta’s background in computer science, design and new technology shaped her interest in expanding the idea of what art can be.

One of her signature motifs is a reverse-wired microphone that operates as a speaker. First utilized in her 2008 work In Our Times, this mechanism has been repeatedly incorporated into Gupta’s practice throughout her career. Her sound installations require viewers to actively listen, allowing the artist to engage more directly with her audience about charged topics such as colonialism, borders, diversity, inclusion and power of speech.

About Shilpa Gupta

Shilpa Gupta was born in 1976 in Mumbai, India, where she lives and works. She studied sculpture at the Sir J. J School of Fine Arts. Recent solo shows include the Ishara Art Foundation in Dubai, UAE (2019), Yarat Contemporary Art Center in Baku, Azerbaijan (2018), Museum Arnhem in Arnhem, Netherlands (2012), and the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, Ohio (2010).

Her work is in the collection of Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Centre Georges Pompidou, Mori Museum, M+ Museum, Louisiana Museum, Louis Vuitton Foundation, Asia Society, Fonds National d’Art Contemporain – France, KOC Collection, National Gallery of Victoria, Queensland Art Gallery, FRAC (France Regional Art Collection), Cincinnati Art Museum among others.

In 2019, she participated in the Arsenale at the 58th Venice Biennale.

Connect with Shilpa Gupta on social media: @shilpaguptastudio


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