Exhibitions

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The Pandemic Circle by Raqs Media Collective

The Pandemic Circle by Raqs Media Collective

December 1, 2020 – January 31, 2021

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 premiere 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 premiere 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 31, 2021.

 

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 31, 2021.

 

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 31, 2021.

 

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.

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