Blame Shilpa Gupta| Singapore Art Museum
Artist: Shilpa Gupta
Workpiece title : Blame
Date: 16 January 2011
Singapore Art Museum
There is a saying, that it is easy to hate what you do not know.
The Blame project was initiated by artist Shilpa Gupta in the aftermath of the Godhra riots and infulenced by the US-led ‘war on terror’. As part of her Blame series of works, Gupta would peddle these bottles of crimson liquid labeled ‘Blame’ on India’s commuter trains, pitching them as a quick-fix to the world’s problems.
This particular installation is part of the Blame series. All of these bottles contain stimulated blood, all labeled with the inscription ‘Blaming you makes me feel so good, so I blame you for what you cannot control – your religion, your nationality.’ These bottles are kept in a small room bathed in red light, creating a sense of tension and claustrophobia.
Although the installation might not bring out the full impact of the message, Gupta had asked some volunteers to separate the bottles by race and religion.
I admire how Gupta was able to make this so relevant to such a wide audience, that underneath all our ideals, beliefs and faiths, we are not much different from each other after all. And with the room designed in a way that overwhelms the few who can enter at the same time, I certainly felt different when I left.