Raqs Media Collective makes art, edits books, curates exhibitions, and stages situations. It follows its self-declared imperative of ‘kinetic contemplation’ to produce a trajectory that is restless in forms and exacting in procedures. Raqs articulates an intimately lived relationship with time, memory, and history through conjecture, entanglement and excavation.
Spinal follows on from Raqs’ immersive installation Not Yet At Ease, co-commissioned by Firstsite and 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary.
Invoking transcripts of letters and diaries, close readings of medical records and official dispatches, extracts from novels and poetry, accounts of dreams and nightmares, fragments of archival film & photography and spectral snatches of voices captured in hundred-year-old sound recordings, Raqs foreground the experiences and testimonies of the soldiers and followers from the Indian Subcontinent who saw action in the First World War.
Spinal invents a dreamscape to build a lyrical and imaginative layer of reflection. It discovers and highlights the official discomfiture with what was taken to be an ‘excess of poetry’ (read as a sign of ‘mental disquietude’) in the soldier’s accounts. Raqs consider this early admission and evasion of the psychological distress produced by war to assert that the ‘unease’ generated by the First World War has not yet ceased.
Raqs Media Collective are: Jeebesh Bagchi, b. 1965, New Delhi, India; Monica Narula, b. 1969, New Delhi, India; Shuddhabrata Sengupta, b. 1968, New Delhi, India.
|Duration||31 January 2019 - 16 March 2019|
|Times||Tuesday–Friday 10am–6pm Saturday 11am–5pm|
|Venue||Frith Street Gallery|
|Address||17-18 Golden Square, London, W1F 9JJ|
|Contact||020 7494 1550 / email@example.com / www.frithstreetgallery.com|