I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Shilpa Gupta
I Never Promised You A Rose Garden
Single book in metal Editions of 50
8.6 x 5.9 x 1.1 inches
In the ongoing project, ‘Someone Else’, one hundred books rest against the wall, which have been written anonymously or under pen names over the past two centuries. Engraved in stainless steel, a method reserved for name plates hung on entrance doors or labels placed under glass vitrines in museums, here lie some of the oldest book covers with their false identities, purposefully taken by the writer and the reason why their original identity had to be forsaken. The missing body below the book-covers echoes half -truths, becoming a register of impositions, vulnerabilities and fears associated by the very first introduction of the self – a name. Be it to conceal one’s 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, or for fear of being labeled the ‘mad’ protagonist of one’s own book, or to be multiple selves or to publish a rejected work, writers have sought freedom in being someone else.