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Raqs Media Collective

Kinetic Contemplations


Friday, November 20, 2020
8:00 pm


Virtual Event

This event will take place online - please see listing for information on how to attend.


Penny Stamps Speaker Series
Watch Video
Open to the public
Free of charge

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.

This Penny Stamps Speaker Series event includes a 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.

Stamps Gallery Online Exhibition

Raqs Media Col­lec­tive is also fea­tured in The Pan­demic Cir­cle by Raqs Media Col­lec­tive, an online Stamps Gallery exhi­bi­tion and screen­ing of new videos. Com­mis­sioned by Stamps Gallery and pre­sented in part­ner­ship with EXPO CHICAGO, twen­ty­four­by­seven (6 mins, video, cal­lig­ra­phy, text, ani­ma­tion), 2020 and Why do they call the answer to a ques­tion, a solu­tion? (12 min­utes, video, spo­ken word), 2020 com­plete the Pan­demic Cir­cle that they embarked upon with their recent video 31 Days. Together, this suite of poignant and poetic videos grap­ple with the per­va­sive and dis­persed impact on daily rou­tines and rela­tion­ships with one another, and beyond, in the age of the Coronavirus.

The exhi­bi­tion can be viewed online from Dec. 1, 2020 — Jan 31, 2021. Learn More →

Co-pro­duced with the School of the Art Insti­tute of Chicago Vis­it­ing Artists Pro­gram and the UM Stamps Gallery.