Wednesday, August 28, 2013

An artist collective that plays a plurality of roles

Jeebesh Bagchi (born 1965, New Delhi), Monica Narula (born 1969, Delhi) and Shuddhabrata Sengupta (born 1968, Delhi) before extending into visual art, explored urban geography through experimental documentary film and television. 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.

For APT7, they delve into their own past, bringing together publications, documents, interviews and project proposals that mark the moment in which they were made, as well as anticipating the future. Raqs Media Collective has been variously described as artists, media practitioners, curators, researchers, editors, and catalysts of cultural processes. Its work locates it along the intersections of contemporary art, philosophical speculation, historical enquiry, research and theory, often taking the form of installations, online and offline media objects, performances and encounters.

Raqs remains closely involved with the Sarai program at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (, an initiative they co-founded in 2000. They enjoy playing a plurality of roles, often appearing as artists, occasionally as a curators, sometimes as philosophical agent provocateurs.

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. According to Shuddhabrata Sengupta, a lot of their work is rooted in terms of its context in New Delhi He has mentioned: “In a sense, we have always perceived our work as responding to the city. Even if it articulates across large cultural distances, we see it as an ongoing process of responding to the locality we live in."

A project by Raqs Media Collective was included in a section, titled ‘The 20 Year Archive’, in which the 7th Asia Pacific Triennale of Contemporary Art (APT7) acknowledged its history by bringing together artists who work with archives. 

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