Massimo Torrigiani for Capo d’Arte, Gagliano del Capo: Altrove. Shilpa Gupta, My East Is Your West

Capo d’Arte, not-for-profit organization promoting contemporary art in Puglia, presents the seventh edition of its annual festival in Gagliano del Capo.

Since its inception in 2009, Capo d’Arte has staged an annual show featuring the works of more than 20 major Italian and international artists, often for the first time in Apulia, including Yang Fudong, Soundwalk Collective, Francesco Arena, Kader Attia, Latifa Echakhch, Adrian Paci, Luigi Presicce, Michelangelo Pistoletto and Sislej Xhafa.

The show is curated by Fantom’s co-founder Massimo Torrigiani, the third time Artistic Director of Capo d’Arte, for which he has proposed a cycle of three exhibitions named Altrove (Elsewhere), which focuses on the exploration of the most far-flung worlds and on cutting-edge creative experimentations, previously inviting internationally renowned artists such as Yang Fudong (2014) and Soundwalk Collective (2015).

For this year, he chose one of the most relevant artists in Asia: Shilpa Gupta (Mumbai, India, 1979) with her work My East Is Your West, which will be installed in the main square of Gagliano del Capo.
The piece is an imposing and thought-provoking led-based light installation that makes viewers reflect upon prejudice and that acquires a deeper meaning with its new setting on the Mediterranean, which has now become an epicentre of migrations and conflicts.
Due to its interwoven letters, My East Is Your West suggests a sense of circularity and reciprocity, halfway between illegibility and clarity, orientation and confusion. The meaning of the sentence only reveals itself when the pulsating light rearranges the letters and, at the same time, the 10 meters artwork illuminates the square below.

Shilpa Gupta has been investigating for many years the complex relations between South Asian countries and she has focused particularly on social, political and geographical boundaries and identities. Also, she has often used technologies and typefaces in her works, thus revealing her interest in languages and contemporary communication systems.

In its infinite loop, almost like a warning, a truism or a koan, My East Is Your West is the trigger on a reflection on the malleability and the constant shift on our perception of border and frontier.

The work will be placed on Palazzo Daniele’s rooftop – Capo d’Arte’s headquarter, a historic building which dates back to the XIX century. The clash between its sober facade and the light installation stimulates a dialogue between the ancient architecture of the square and the essential contemporaneity of the work.

The project has been possible thanks to the collaboration with Galleria Continua (San Gimignano, Beijing, Les Moulins, Havana).


My Est Is Your West, Shilpa Gupta
Corso Umberto I, Gagliano del Capo (LE) 
Opening: Saturday July 30th, 2016, 8.30pm