Shilpa Gupta

A Liquid, the Mouth Froze

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Shilpa Gupta, A Liquid, the Mouth Froze, 2018, Cast of open mouth in gun metal, etched brass plate, 17.5 x 11 x 18.5 cm. Installation view YARAT Contemporary Art Space, Baku “SHILPA GUPTA FOR, IN YOUR TONGUE, I CAN NOT FIT. SOLO EXHIBITION”, courtesy of the artist and GALLERIA CONTINUA, Photo by: Pat Verbruggen, Art Jameel Collection

Artwork Details


Shilpa Gupta


A Liquid, the Mouth Froze




Cast of open mouth in gun metal, etched brass plate


17.5 x 11 x 18.5 cm

Credit Line

Art Jameel Collection

Work Description

A liquid, the mouth froze, comprises a cast of a human mouth in gunmetal. Alongside it, is a
brass plate hanging on a nail, onto which is inscribed a short account of an incident. The work
is part of Gupta’s wider investigation into the fate of poets considered threatening by state
power. The gun metal and the enigmatic text allude to extra-judicial violence against
individuals exercising language as a personal freedom beyond prescribed uses.

Artist Biography

Shilpa Gupta (b.1976, lives and works in Mumbai, India) has an interdisciplinary approach to challenging prevailing notions of individual and collective cultural identity within her work. She examines the role of perception and subjectivity in the status of objects, places, people and experiences, and the way value is defined and impacted by nationalism, trade, religion and notions of security.

Gupta studied sculpture at the Sir J. J. School of Fine Arts, Mumbai (1997). She has had solo shows at Barbican Centre, London (2021); Voorlinden Museum and Gardens, Wassenaar (2017); Kiosk, Ghent (2017); Bielefelder Kunstverein, La synagogue de Delme (2017); Arnolfini, Bristol (2016 & 2012); OK, Linz (2011 ); Museum voor Moderne Kunst, Arnhem (2011); Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati (2010 ); and Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi (2009).  Her work has also been shown in group exhibitions at ZKM, Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe (2019); Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark (2019, 2016, 2012 & 2009); Mori Museum, Tokyo (2017, 2013 & 2008); Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, Delhi (2016); Devi Art Foundation, Gurugram (2016, 2008); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2013, 2010);

Centre Pompidou, Paris (2011); Serpentine Gallery, London (2008); and Tate Modern, London (2001).

Shilpa Gupta has participated in the the 58th Venice Biennale (2019); Kochi-Muziris Biennale (2018); NGV Triennial, Melbourne (2017); Gothenburg Biennial (2017); Berlin Biennale (2014); Sharjah Biennial (2013); Lyon Biennale (2009); New Museum Triennial, New York (2009); Yokohama Triennale (2008); Gwangju Biennale (2008); and the Liverpool Biennial (2006).