Shilpa Gupta

Shadow 2


Artist / Artist group
Shilpa Gupta
Shadow 2
installation, computer-based
Material / Technique
Interactive video installation (colour, sound); projector, PS (Windows 10 OS), monitor, keyboard, mouse, sound set, USB analogue video capture card, analogue camera, light source, black and grey carpet.
Dimensions / Duration
350 x 800 x 600 cm
ZKM | Center for Art and Media

“I wake up and walk. Walk. The corridor passes by, the streets pass by, the traffic lights pass by too. I walk on the street and the street walks with me. […] The houses change but the trees don’t look so different. Is it a new house on my street? […] A window appears. I walk close to the window. It opens. One more window. One more and one more.” [1]

In her video works, performances, and interactive computer-based installations, Indian artist Shilpa Gupta explores the influences of social structures, the state, and religion on individual lives.

The interactive video projection »Shadow 2« processes these themes using a poetic approach. The visitors stand in front of a large projection screen and are filmed by a camera in the room. In real time, the people and their movements are represented as shadows. These real silhouettes can interact playfully in various scenes with digitally generated shadows: through the windows, you can reach the different scenarios and experience flying birds, a dancing child and other people, or small houses falling down. Different religious sounds from churches and temples or announcements of prayer times accompany the representations.

People who step in front of this interactive video projection automatically become a part of it. In this daydream-like situation, the artist makes reference to the realities of our lives over which we have no influence: we are born in a particular place, at a particular time, as well as into a specific culture and religion. However, in the interaction with our environment we can actively react to these givens and metaphorically open the window to another world.

[1] Shilpa Gupta, in: Nancy Adajania, ed., »Shilpa Gpta«, (New Delhi: Vadehra Art Gallery; Munich: Prestel Verlag, 2009), 194.

Author: Jenny Starick

About the artist/s