Shilpa Gupta at Ishara Art Foundation, Dubai

“Altered Inheritances: Home is a Foreign Place” a Group Show by Shilpa Gupta and Zarina is open untill the 13th July at Ishara Art Foundation  in Dubai. The title resonates with the condition of being South Asian in the Gulf; at home, but yet elsewhere. In Altered Inheritances – 100  (Last Name) Stories (2014), Gupta traces individuals who changed their last names either to succeed, or to survive. A linear presentation of images is layered with the reasons that names were shed, and then split in half, evoking a sharp break with the past. The words on each of 36 monochrome woodcuts are “triggers for memory” in Zarina’s Home is a Foreign Place (1999), expressing a quiet yearning for a home she could not return to. The architectural staging of the two-person exhibition is inspired by the floorplan of her childhood home, creating intimate spaces for almost forty works presented in both formal and conceptual affinity. The exhibition includes a video by Sophie Ernst, where Zarina recollects leaving the house after the Partition in 1947. Ishara Art Foundation is the first non-profit independent institution dedicated to contemporary South Asian art and artists in West Asia. Founded by Smita Prabhakar, Ishara Art Foundation is a new space for contemporary art and artistic exchange building on the shared histories, continued presence and cultural contribution of South Asian voices in the Gulf. Richard Armstrong, Director of the Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation chairs the Advisory Board, which includes Maya Allison, Executive Director of NYUAD Art Gallery, art historian Sandhini Poddar, and artists Bharti Kher and Chittrovanu Mazumdar. Ishara Art Foundation is presented in partnership with Alserkal Avenue.