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That photo we never got | Shilpa Gupta
in collaboration with Asia Art Archive

Mumbai-based artist Shilpa Gupta and Asia Art Archive (AAA) present 'That photo we never got', a research-based project that explores friendship, associations, love, and incongruities in the field of art.

By drawing out narratives from AAA’s collection, Gupta gathers incomplete stories from documents on art institutions, artist-organised camps, workshops, exhibitions, publications, and artist travels around the world.

The artist worked alongside AAA Senior Researcher Sabih Ahmed, looking at material from the 60s, 70s, and 80s housed at AAA to follow the innumerable tangents and overlapping vectors across and beyond the Archive’s collection. Gupta delves into chance encounters and fraught friendships, some imagined and others not, revealing the varied aspirations of artists and their relationships to peers, cities, and the world.

Gupta’s practice examines the dynamics of contexts, perception, and cartographies of knowledge, and has often incorporated methods of archiving into her work. While a number of stories gathered for this project had archival trails to follow, others surfaced as annotations from conversations and interviews conducted during its research. As the artist herself stated, ‘an archive can only be a proposal’; this project positions itself as an incomplete proposition of fragments placed in the interstices of the archival document and living memory.

Earlier iterations of this project were shown at the 2015 India Art Fair in New Delhi, and at Asia Art Archive in Hong Kong in 2016.