Wednesday, July 10, 2013

An unconventional artist’s collective

Raqs Media Collective formed by a group of independent media practitioners in 1992 has been described as curators, researchers, artists, and editors. The trio of Jeebesh Bagchi, Monica Narula and Shuddhabrata Sengupta looks to act as keen catalysts of complex cultural processes. Here’s a quick look at their philosophy and processes courtesy Boston –based Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, currently hosting a show of their works:

What the collective stands for?
Raqs is a word in Persian, Arabic and Urdu and means the state that "whirling dervishes" enter into when they whirl. Raqs signifies and embodies the practice of a kinetic contemplation of the world. It is also a word used for dance. Raqs sees its work as opening out a series of investigations with image, sound, software, objects, performance, print, text and lately, curation, that straddle different (and changing) affective and aesthetic registers, expressing an imaginative unpacking of questions of identity and location, a deep ambivalence towards modernity and a quiet but consistent critique of the operations of power and property.
Core of their works
The works of India’s unconventional artist collective locate them squarely along the intersections of contemporary art, historical enquiry, philosophical speculation, research and theory - often taking the form of installations, online and offline media objects, performances and encounters. They engage with urban spaces and global circuits, persistently welding a sharp, edgily contemporary sense of what it means to lay claim to the world from the streets of Delhi. At the same time, the collective articulates an intimately lived relationship with myths and histories of diverse provenances.
Idea behind Sarai
In 2001 Raqs co-founded Sarai at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) in Delhi where they coordinate media productions, pursue and administer independent research and practice projects and also work as members of the editorial collective of the Sarai Reader series. For Raqs, Sarai is a space where they have the freedom to pursue interdisciplinary and hybrid contexts for creative work and to develop a sustained engagement with urban space and with different forms of media.
International prominence marks their career
Based in Delhi, they have exhibited widely in major international spaces and events. They have had solo exhibitions at The Tate Britain and Frith Street Gallery in London; Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels; Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong, the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, The Taipei, Liverpool, Ogaki and Venice Biennales, as well as curated "The Rest of Now" and co-curated "Scenarios" for Manifesta 7 (2008).

No comments:

Post a Comment