Contemporary art darling and new media maven Shilpa Gupta has worked her way through every conceivable medium, fashioning politically charged pieces on canvas, video and online. Through a wry and often ironic take on weighty topics such as war, religion, terrorism and child labour, she has poked the boundaries of convention, pushing the viewer to touch and be touched by her art. Her online pieces, such as ‘blessed-bandwidth.net’, which takes participants through a dizzying round of instructions, among them how to dress their favourite god and receive virtual blessings, have landed her numerous accolades as well as coveted spots in biennales across the world. Currently in Germany for a showing of her monographs, Gupta shared with us her favourite art destinations.
London: The city has key institutions such as the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Tate, the Tate Modern, and the Serpentine Gallery. Then, there are great galleries such as Hauser and Wirth and Gagosian on the one hand and the bustling East End galleries on the other. Of the latter, I always visit Gasworks, a superb artist residency/exhibition programme.
Berlin: One can still experience the residue of the histories of the East and the West among the places and the people here. There are a number of vibrant art spaces and art collectives, besides private galleries—for example, Kunst-Werk, Bethanien, Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst (NGBK), and the most important media art festival, Transmediale.
Shanghai: A comparatively young contemporary art scene, but I have already been there for two key occasions. They have a large Shanghai Biennale with more than 100 artists, at the Shanghai Art Museum. There is also the ShContemporary, the new Shanghai art fair where even top Indian galleries lined up last year, and the privately-owned Zendai Museum of Modern Art.
Shanghai Art Museum (Photo by: AFP)
New York:It is important for all its blue-chip galleries and the famous Chelsea and Soho art districts, where there is a gallery at every turn and on every floor. There is the New Museum, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Queens Art Gallery.
Kassel:A small town in Germany that has put itself on the global art map by hosting Documenta, a cutting-edge contemporary art exhibition. It is one of the world’s most awaited art events. It takes place once every five years and we see the very best of international art there.
Gupta’s BlindStars StarsBlind is on view at Bodhi Berlin and Galerie Volker Diehl, Berlin, Germany, until 3 August
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