Shilpa Gupta / India b.1976 / 24:00:01 (installation view) 2010–12 / Motion flapboard: 30 minutes, ed. 5/5 / 32.5 x 198.5 x 20cm / Purchased 2017 with funds from Tim Fairfax AC through the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art / © The artist / Image courtesy: The artist and GALLERIA CONTINUA (San Gimignano, Beijing, Les Moulins, Habana)

Shilpa Gupta
24:00:01 2010–2012

On Display: Level 2

24:00:01 2010–12 uses a mechanised split-flapboard — technology once common to train stations and airports around the world — in which words and phrases gradually emerge and letters continually change. Misspelled and disjointed words unsettle the viewer as the text transitions from one word or phrase to another, rapidly transforming meaning. Without a distinct subject or context, a fragmented story evolves beginning with an introspective phrase — ‘I look out and wait for the train to go by’. The story then continues through suggestions of belonging and nationhood, as well as evocations of personal relationships, fear and terrorism. The work plays with the objective role of public signage — rather than delivering information and directions immediately, it poetically and gradually builds layers of elusive meaning.

Shilpa Gupta works with a broad range of materials in her practice; however, text, language and poetry feature prominently. Gupta regularly experiments with language and how it operates; she slowly unravels narratives using various technologies, or she explores the relationships between author and speaker, reader and listener. Using simple phrases translated into several languages, she prompts viewers to think about relationships.

Contemporary context

How does Shilpa Gupta:

  • challenge ideas of the past?
  • use materials, technologies or approaches to affect the audience experience?
  • employ imagery and/or display techniques to challenge aesthetic traditions?
  • provoke discussion about twenty-first-century issues and concerns?

Personal context

How does Shilpa Gupta:

  • create sensory experiences to generate emotional responses from the viewer?
  • connect with the viewers’ experiences and/or expectations to construct meaning?

Cultural context

How does Shilpa Gupta:

  • reflect community interests through social commentary?

Formal context

How does Shilpa Gupta:

  • employ specific art elements and principles to communicate meaning?
  • communicate intentions using symbols, motifs or signs?
  • enhance the interpretation of the artwork through processes, materials and media?