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The Pandemic Circle by Raqs Media Collective

RAQS Wide
When

December 1, 2020 – January 31, 2021

Where

Hybrid Event

Virtual Exhibition

Details

Exhibition
Open to the public
Free of charge

An online exhi­bi­tion and screen­ing of new videos com­mis­sioned by Stamps Gallery, Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design, and pre­sented in part­ner­ship with EXPO CHICAGO.

Curated by Sri­moyee Mitra.

Stamps Gallery is pleased to announce the pre­mière of two new video works by Raqs Media Col­lec­tive. Com­mis­sioned by Stamps Gallery, twen­ty­four­by­seven (7 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. In the sum­mer of 2020, Raqs Media Col­lec­tive released 31 Days (18 min­utes, video, cal­lig­ra­phy, text) three months after the predica­ment of quar­an­tine and seclu­sion caused by the Covid-19 pan­demic gripped con­tem­po­rary life across the globe. Offer­ing a med­i­ta­tion on a rest­less world in a quiet time, 31 Days explored the weight and ambiva­lence of loss through haunt­ing rep­e­ti­tion, things gleaned from the cor­ner of one’s eye, and frag­ments seen, heard and sensed between the three mem­bers of Raqs. The new works deepen their inquiry into the ten­sions of time and place. 31 Days embod­ied a sense of time­less­ness, as well as mak­ing place ambigu­ous; a new non-place (in cyber­space) emerges as if the geo­graph­i­cal loca­tion is irrelevant.

Both time and place remain key as they inform world views, IP addresses, and per­spec­tives beyond 31 Days. It has been nine months and count­ing since work from home” has become sta­tus quo. While the third wave of Covid-19 spreads through­out the world, Raqs con­tin­ues the con­ver­sa­tion and lucid dream­ing with two new highly antic­i­pated works: twen­ty­four­by­seven (6 min­utes) and Why do they call the answer to a ques­tion, a solu­tion? (12 min­utes).

The new films will pre­mière on Decem­ber 1, 2020 on U‑M Stamps Youtube chan­nel and will also be streamed by Expo Chicago’s pro­gram­ming microsite; they will be avail­able until Jan­u­ary 31

EXPO CHICAGO

The EXPO CHICAGO Pro­gram presents year-round live stream­ing pan­els, con­ver­sa­tions, and film screen­ings in col­lab­o­ra­tion with local and inter­na­tional insti­tu­tions, cura­tors, artists, and schol­ars. Hosted on the exposition’s newly launched microsite, these pro­grams and their archive are free and acces­si­ble to the pub­lic. EXPO CHICAGO will host Alter­nate Assem­bly: Envi­ron­men­tal Impact in the Era of Pan­demic, Jan­u­ary 21 – 23, 2021, a dig­i­tal proxy for rig­or­ous in-per­son dis­course address­ing how ideas in con­tem­po­rary art can con­tribute to rethink­ing our envi­ron­ment within the era of the pandemic.

Videos: The Pan­demic Circle

31 Days (18 mins, video, cal­lig­ra­phy, text), 2020 by Raqs Media Collective

A con­ver­sa­tion in images, mis­sives to selves and world, mood swings in lock­down and a share in the planet’s lucid dreams dur­ing a global pan­demic. Gleaned from a mon­th’s worth of the habit, within Raqs, of a reg­u­lar chat­ter, the daily back and forth of things seen, heard, read and sensed between three peo­ple across decades. From the dawn of new feel­ings to the obsti­nate sed­i­ment of images that don’t let them­selves be unseen. Dis­ap­pear­ing ephemera, his­tory in the mak­ing, the scene that unfolds in the cor­ner of the eye — every­thing, and noth­ing. Real, imag­ined, and every­where in between. Notes of pic­tures that whis­per, speak in tongues, and some­times leap, from hiber­na­tion to upheaval. 

This video is part of the Stamps Gallery exhi­bi­tion, The Pan­demic Cir­cle, pre­sented in part­ner­ship with Expo Chicago and on view Decem­ber 1, 2020 – Jan­u­ary 312021

twen­ty­four­by­seven* (7 mins , video, cal­lig­ra­phy, text, ani­ma­tion), 2020 by Raqs Media Collective

Walk­ing a tightrope between know­ing and feel­ing in elon­gated pan­demic days and nights. There is an aware­ness of the aware­ness of how the ner­vous sys­tem responds to the ner­vous­ness of this time. There is now the out-of-body sen­sa­tion of look­ing back on each moment as it passes, twen­ty­four­by­seven.

This Stamps Gallery com­mis­sion is part of the exhi­bi­tion, The Pan­demic Cir­cle, pre­sented by Stamps Gallery in part­ner­ship with Expo Chicago and on view Decem­ber 1, 2020 – Jan­u­ary 312021

Why do they call the answer to a ques­tion, a solu­tion?* (12 mins, video, spo­ken word), 2020 by Raqs Media Collective

The third video in this pan­demic cir­cle turns into an enquiry into the very form of think­ing. It moves between lesions, joys, epipha­nies, and ter­ror. The image and voice rewire spaces left unat­tended by var­i­ous 20th cen­tury impasses. The film reflects on exhaus­tion and inven­tive­ness, love and dig­nity, deep pasts and faint futures, and the rup­tures that mod­u­late the share of over­com­ing” and over­turn­ing” in our indi­vid­ual selves, and col­lec­tive life. The video enters trou­bled waters to search for news way to look at horizons.

This Stamps Gallery com­mis­sion is part of the exhi­bi­tion, The Pan­demic Cir­cle, pre­sented by Stamps Gallery in part­ner­ship with Expo Chicago and on view Decem­ber 1, 2020 – Jan­u­ary 312021

This pro­gram is sup­ported by The Andy Warhol Foun­da­tion for the Visual Arts.

Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts logo: black and white portrait and signature of Andy Warhol

Title Image: Raqs Media Col­lec­tive, video stills (left to right) from twen­ty­four­by­seven* (7 mins , video, cal­lig­ra­phy, text, ani­ma­tion), Why do they call the answer to a ques­tion, a solu­tion? (12 mins, video, spo­ken word), 2020.


Virtual Exhibition