Crossings Prize - Runner Up
Shilpa Gupta, born in 1976, lives and works in Mumbai, India. Her Internet, video and installation works have been exhibited all over the world. Gupta has shown a remarkable flexibility in her approach, moving away from conventional notions of what constitutes art and art practice. She has managed to bring the life practices, experiences, beliefs, memories and imaginations of people, particularly from India, into the realm of new art practices. In doing so she has reached out to a wider section of society and has changed the idea of how we experience or even imagine art. Her work stands outside the definitions created by Eurocentric art-history--based art practice and offers a fresh approach to creating art in an Indian context. Among her well-known works are Blessed-bandwidth.net, Sentiment-Express.com and Diamonds and You.com. Blessedbandwidth.net, a piece commissioned by Tate Online, "invites visitors to log on, choose a religion and get blessed." While Shilpa Gupta's works are visibly technological, they use technology to throw light not on technology but on ordinary experiences. The most important insights into technology developed in her work concern the ways by which technology becomes "natural," something that we take for granted in the same way as the natural world around us.