Someone Else: A Library of 35 Books Written Anonymously or Under Pseudonyms

Someone Else: A Library of 35 Books Written Anonymously or Under Pseudonyms
etched stainless steel books and shelves
7 7/8 x 10¼ in. (20 x 26 cm.) each book; 96 in. (244 cm.) overall each shelf; 96 x 8½ x 72 in. (244 x 21.6 x 188.9 cm.) overall installation
Executed in 2011-12; number two from an edition of three; 35 books and 5 shelves in 15 parts
Yvon Lambert Gallery, Paris
Acquired from the above by a Private Collector
G. Jayaraman, 'Where the books have no name', Mint, 20 January, 2012 (another version illustrated)
R. Webster, 'in conversation with Shilpa Gupta', Aesthetica, Issue 45, February-March 2012 (another version illustrated)
R. Papachlimitzou, 'The Formation of Identity, Shilpa Gupta: Someone Else', Aesthetica Online, 11 April 2012 (another version illustrated)
R. Lear, 'Shilpa Gupta: Someone Else', this is tomorrow Contemporary Art Magazine, 13 April 2012 (another version illustrated)
Mumbai, Chemould Prescott Road, Someone Else, 21 January - 16 February, 2012 (another version)
Bristol, Arnolfini, Shilpa Gupta - Someone Else, 2 March - 21 April, 2012 (another version)
Sharjah, Sharjah Biennial 11, Re:emerge: Towards a New Cultural Cartography, 13 March – 13 May, 2013 (another version)
Svolvaer, North Norwegian Art Centre, Lofoten International Art Festival, 2013 (another version)
New Delhi, Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, Is It What You Think?, 30 January – 27 September, 2014 (another version)
Antwerp, M HKA, Don’t You Know Who I Am? – Art After Identity Politics, 13 June – 14 September, 2014 (another version)


Sheila Parekh-Blum
Sheila Parekh-Blum


Shilpa Gupta is a multi-media conceptual artist whose work includes photography, interactive digital installations, and performance. She was invited to participate in the acclaimed Younger Than Jesus Triennale at the New Museum in 2009, and her work has been featured at major international institutions, including the Tate Modern in London, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Chicago Cultural Center and more recently has represented India as part of 56th Venice Biennale exhibition My East is your West at Palazzo Benzan.

In this installation, featuring thirty-five books that were originally published under pseudonyms, Gupta recreates the cover of each book in etched stainless steel. She explains, "Engraved in stainless steel, a method reserved for inscribing identities in museums or at entrance doors of homes, on the shelves lie some of the oldest book covers with their false names which had been purposefully taken by the writer, along with different reasons for doing so. Be it to conceal ones gender, often that of a woman and sometimes of a man too, or to avoid persecution by one’s own country, or for love and approval of the family, or to write in a language one knows best, for fear of being labelled the ‘mad’ protagonist, or to publish a rejected book or simply to explore multiple selves or to publish a rejected work, writers have sought freedom in being someone else The missing body below the book-covers echo half truths, becoming a register of impositions, vulnerabilities and fears associated by the very first introduction of the self – a name." (Artist statement, 'In conversation with Shilpa Gupta', Art Now website, accessed August 2016)

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