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Tune in to view a virtual presentation by Raqs Media Collective followed by a Q&A with Srimoyee Mitra, director of the Stamps Gallery at Stamps School of Art and Design.
Raqs Media Collective, formed in 1992 by Monica Narula, Jeebesh Bagchi, and Shuddhabrata Sengupta, argues for a mode of “kinetic contemplation” that rides a restless entanglement with the world. This translates into working with moving images to unsettle ways of ordering space and time through timelines, life-lines, latitudes, and longitudes. Raqs practices across several media, including installation, sculpture, video, performance, text, and lexica. In the video 31 Days (2020), Raqs takes the predicament of quarantine and seclusion caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to offer a meditation on a restless world in a quiet time. Raqs takes traces of materials in order to breach the boundaries and limits of historical time by intensifying the experience of a sensory encounter with the immeasurability of life forms. In the video The Blood of Stars (2018), blood, meteorites older than the earth, and iron mines in the arctic circle combine to offer a way of thinking concretely and materially about the intimacy of life, death, mining, war, and the pulse of the cosmos.
From 2000–2013, Raqs spent time at Sarai, which they co-founded at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in North Delhi, and where they were members of the Editorial Collegiate of the Sarai Reader Series. Raqs’ work has been shown in museums and exhibitions across the world, including Documenta 11, Venice, Istanbul, Sydney, Shanghai, and Sao Paulo Biennales, and in solo exhibitions at the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi; Tate Modern, London; Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo (MUAC), México City; Fundación PROA, Buenos Aires; Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester; K21 Ständehaus, Düsseldorf; and Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha, Qatar, among others. Curatorial projects by Raqs include The Rest of Now, Manifesta 8, Murcia, Spain, 2011; Sarai Reader 09, Devi Art Foundation, Gurugram, India, 2012; Insert2014, IGNCA, Delhi, 2014; Why Not Ask Again, Shanghai Biennale, 2016; Five Million Incidents, Goethe-Institut, Delhi & Kolkata, 2019–2021; and Afterglow, Yokohama Triennale, 2020.
Co-produced with the Penny Stamps Distinguished Speaker Series and the Stamps Gallery at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.
View the Raqs Media Collective SAIC Flaxman Library Resource Guide for additional information about the artists.