Raqs Media Collective: Still More World

Past Exhibition

Raqs Media Collective’s artistic practice examines questions of the everyday, alongside philosophical and historical inquiries of the universe. Unravelling structures of economies, time, and language, their work examines the shifting state of contemporary life and boundaries of visibility. This exploration of transformation, is embedded in the process and subject of their work, and in the collective’s name – ‘raqs’ – a term for movement and whirling, in Urdu/Hindustani, Arabic, and Persian.

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Raqs Media Collective: Still More World draws on the energy of Doha’s urban landscape of light, which symbolises this global city in continuous movement, its networks of people, and raw materials. Thirteen installations ranging from videos to textiles and sculptures, made between 2011 and 2019, are presented at Mathaf and across the city of Doha.  

Literary stories and scientific anecdotes about the cycles of progress and change appear in these works, touching on the movement of people and populations, as the material and immaterial are contrasted. Playing with language, energy and digital technologies, the series of five Dohas for Doha (2019) are displayed at Mathaf and as an intervention in the urban environment on Burj Doha, using the lights and architecture of this iconic building to mark the conversation between Raqs and the city. The dense hanging of carpets, To People (2019), shows 'people' as pixelated crowds, referencing the diversity of Doha’s inhabitants and expanded digital networks. Other works explore the connections between living organisms, the natural world, geological time and the cosmos.  

The works in this exhibition re-examine human progress and natural resources, considering historical and contemporary movements of people and the way terrains change. Continuing Raqs’ exploration of the immeasurable, Still More World offers a rephrasing of the prevailing sensibility, embodying the double bind of humanity’s present condition; the promise and desire for growth coupled with the question of how much more the earth has left to give.

Curator, Laura Barlow

Assistant Curator, Lina Ramadan

Artist Bio

Raqs Media Collective are artists, curators, and thinkers. Founded in 1992 by Jeebesh Bagchi, Monica Narula and Shuddhabrata Sengupta, the collective’s practice spans the making of multi-medium installations, films, events and publications, in addition to collaborations across architecture, literature, science, and theatre, broadening insights into the world around us.

Raqs Media Collective frequently exhibit their work internationally. Recent solo exhibitions include Not Yet At Ease, Firstsite, Colchester (2018); Everything Else is Ordinary, K21 Ständehaus, Düsseldorf (2018); Provisions for Everybody, AV Festival, Newcastle (2018); Twilight Language, The Whitworth, University of Manchester (2017); The Work of Art in the Age of Collective Intelligence & If the World is a Fair Place, Laumeier Sculpture Park, St Louis (2016); It’s Possible Because It’s Possible, MUAC, Mexico City (2015); Untimely Calendar, The National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi (2014-2015); and The Great Bare Mat & Constellation, the Isabella Gardner Museum, Boston (2012). They have participated in group exhibitions and biennials including the Venice Biennial, Venice (2003, 2005 & 2015); Biennale Bénin, Cotonou, Porto Novo, Ouidah, and Abomey (2012); Manifesta 9, Limburg (2012); Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai (2010); and documenta 11, Kassel (2002). Raqs are Artistic Directors of the 2020 Yokohama Triennale and were curators of the 11th Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai (2012), as well as co-curators of Manifesta 7, Bolzano (2008). In 2001 they co-founded Sarai, a programme of interdisciplinary research and practice, at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi. Raqs Media Collective are based in Delhi, India.