A Phrase, Not a Word – Further Information

Raqs Media Collective

iRRi ART for Gallery Nature Morte, New Delhi, December 2nd, 2012 – January 12th, 2013

After an interval of six years, the Raqs Media Collective had returned to Nature Morte with a solo show featuring videos, large-scale prints, a typographic sculpture and a sound installation. Their last show at the gallery was ‘There Has Been a Change of Plan‘ in August 2006.

About the exhibition

On view were several works never seen before in India, along with a suite of new works. Amongst the works that were displayed at Nature Morte are, ‘An Afternoon Unregistered on the Richter Scale’, shown as part of Raqs’s show at the Art Gallery of York University, Toronto in 2011 and recently at their solo show for the re-opening of the legendary Photographer’ s Gallery in London. This looped video glosses a photograph taken in Calcutta in the early 20th Century by the British photographer James Waterhouse depicting the interior of a Surveyor’s office with workers earnestly absorbed by their tasks to produce a calibrated meditation on stillness, duration and transformation.

‘Strikes at Time’ is a video diptych that connects thoughts on time and labour that was sparked off by a conversation with the French Philosopher Jacques Ranciere. It entered the permanent collection of the Centre Pompidou, Paris after being included in the exhibition “Paris- Delhi-Bombay” in 2011 and was also shown at the 2nd Ural Industrial Biennal in Ekaterinburg, Russia.

The works “Forthcoming Titles” and ‘The Philosophy of the Namak Haraam’ deal with the desire for language and its capacity to both speak and be silent. In ‘The Philosophy of the Namak Haraam’ we are all namak-haraams, defaulters to the debt of purloined knowledge, while ‘Forthcoming Titles’ undoes written ideas to tie them up in knots.

Two works in the show, ‘Constellation’ and ‘Fibonacci’s Insomnia’ have emerged from their more recent body of work created for Raqs’ solo show at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston in 2012.

About Raqs Media Collective:

Based in New Delhi, where it was founded in 1992, Raqs Media Collective (Jeebesh Bagchi, Monica Narula and Shuddhabrata Sengupta) have been consistently present on the international art scene for the last decade. They enjoy playing a plurality of roles, often appearing as artists, occasionally as a curators, sometimes as philosophical agent provocateurs. They make contemporary art, have made films, curated exhibitions, edited books, staged events, collaborated with architects, computer programmers, writers and theatre directors and have founded processes that have left deep impacts on contemporary culture in India. Raqs follows its self declared imperative of ‘kinetic contemplation’ to produce a trajectory that is restless in terms of the forms and methods that it deploys even as it achieves a consistency of speculative procedures.

Raqs have exhibited as artists in Documenta, the Venice, Istanbul, Taipei, Liverpool, Sydney and Sao Paulo Biennales, amongst others. Their work has been shown the Centre Pompidou (Paris), Tate Britain (London), Art Unlimited (Basel), Mori Museum (Tokyo), SALT (Istanbul) and at the Hayward and Serpentine Galleries (London), amongst others. They are currently exhibiting a solo show at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston).

They have curated ‘The Rest of Now’ for the 7th edition of Manifesta: The European Biennial of Contemporary Art, and ‘Steps Away form Oblivion’ for the international roving exhibition “Indian Highway’ initiated by The Serpentine Gallery, London. ‘Sarai Reader 09: The Exhibition’ a curatorial process initiated by them at the Devi Art Foundation, Gurgaon in 2012/2013.

In 2000, Raqs co-founded the Sarai Program at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies. They are part of the editorial collective of the Sarai Reader Series.

Fore more information, please see:

www.raqsmediacollective.net and www.naturemorte.com