Raqs Media Collective
K 21 Ständehaus, Düsseldorf
– 12 August 2018
The Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen is dedicating a solo exhibition to the Indian artist group Raqs Media Collectiveuntil mid-August. In Germany for the first time, the exhibition showcases works by the trio, who uses various types of media to place social and political topics into a global context. Their goal is to invite the viewer to sharpen their “awareness of fundamental ambivalence in this world”.
The collective, consisting of Jeebesh Bagchi, Monica Narula, and Shuddhabrata Sengupta, was founded in New Delhi in 1992 and has a multidisciplinary approach. Their methods are varied and include contemporary art practice, scientific research, and philosophical speculation. Their formats include installations, videos, texts, and photography in which they use language as artistic material, medium, and tool. In addition to the performing arts, they develop publications, exhibitions, and stage plays as well as collaborate in interdisciplinary projects.
The name “Raqs” is an acronym for “Rarely Asked Questions” and at the same time a play on words, as in Islamic mysticism, Raqs is also a state of ecstasy achieved through dance, which is meant to characterise the collective’s working method.
A central theme, visualised in the exhibition, deals with the fascination with time and its relationship to space and history. Works like “Escapement” (2009) or “Re-Run” (2013) illustrate different dimensions of time. The Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen says of the work: “They encourage us to re-examine current concepts of time, their disciplinary function in everyday life, and their fundamental role in the capitalist organisation of work.”