For the past year I’ve been a part of an ongoing installation project at the New Museum called the Night School. The Night School has been a series of lectures on and by artists and the people who study us. Luminaries of the artist-intellectual world have spoken on everything from protest film to on-site, guerilla installations on the notion of “super market” at Whole Foods. As a Night School participant, privy to private lectures and soiree’s, I can say that the series has been illuminating, charged, and, at times, insufferably self-absorbed. Which, far as I can tell, pretty much sums up the NY museum art scene in gen. Shit, maybe it sums me up too.
But if you’re in NYC, you should know that the cream of the crop lands tonight. Night School Public Seminar 11 presents cutting edge Desi artists: The Raqs Media Collective on, “The Pupil Dilates in Darkness.”
About the Raqs Media Collective:
Raqs Media Collective was formed in 1992 by Jeebesh Bagchi (b. 1965, Delhi), Monica Narula (b. 1969, Delhi), and Shuddhabrata Sengupta (b. 1968, Delhi). The Raqs Collective is based in Delhi at Sarai, a program of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, an initiative they co-founded in 2000. Their work takes the form of installations, video, photography, image-text collages, on- and off-line media objects, performances, and encounters. They cross contemporary art practice with historical and philosophical speculation, research and theory.
The Raqs Collective has been exhibited widely in major international spaces and events including Documenta 11 (2002), the Venice Biennale (2003, 2005), the Guangzhou Triennial (2005), the Sydney Biennial (2006), and the Istanbul Biennial (2007), among others. Their writings have also been published extensively. They curated “The Rest of Now” in Bolzano/Bozen and co-curated “Scenarios” at Fortezza/ Franzensfeste for Manifesta 7 in South Tyrol, Italy.
Raqs is currently showing in “Chalo! India” (Mori Art Museum, Tokyo) and “Indian Highway” (Serpentine Gallery, London), a segment of which they guest curated.
About the Raqs Media Collective presentation, “The Pupil Dilates in Darkness.
What can pupils learn while they dilate at night? Raqs Media Collective fills three Night School sessions with darkness, scrawls, and gray matter. The first evening (January 15, 7 p.m.), “An Illegible Signature,” will feature a Raqs lecture–performance on the questions of legibility, stammering, and shadows. The second session (January 16, 7 p.m.), “The Watches of the Night,” will feature Raqs weaving considerations on time, immeasurability, and darkness into a presentation with film fragments, nightmares, lucid dreams, recordings, and textual marginalia, accompanied by K. D Vyas and his correspondence. The third session (January 17, 3 p.m.), “The Darkness of Gray Matter,” will feature a conversation on darkness and gray matter, neural conundrums, forensic dilemmas, and the wiring of the imagination between Raqs, and Dr. Arani Bose, a neurosurgeon, and Dr. Steven Pacia, a neurologist.
Night School is an artist’s project by Anton Vidokle in the form of a temporary school. A yearlong program of monthly seminars and workshops, Night School draws upon a group of local and international artists, writers, and theorists to conceptualize and conduct the program. This month’s seminar is conceived by Raqs Media Collective.
*This event is free with Museum admission, but tickets are required. Tickets can be reserved online or at the Museum prior to the seminar’s start.
I’ll tell you how it goes. Stay tuned for more, from your fav political poet. 🙂