Raqs Media Collective enjoys playing a plurality of roles, often appearing as artists, occasionally as curators, sometimes as philosophical agent provocateurs. They make contemporary art, have made films, curated exhibitions, edited books, staged events, collaborated with architects, computer programmers, writers and theatre directors and have founded processes that have left deep impacts on contemporary culture in India.
Raqs was founded in 1992 by Jeebesh Bagchi, Monica Narula, and Shuddhabrata Sengupta. They follow a self declared imperative of “kinetic contemplation” to produce a trajectory that is restless in terms of the forms and methods that it deploys even as it achieves a consistency of speculative procedures.
Their solo exhibitions have been organized by the National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi, the Centro de Arte dos de Mayo in Madrid with the Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo in Mexico City, the Chronos Art Center in Shanghai, and Photographers’ Gallery and Frith Street Gallery in London. Their work has been featured in prominent international group exhibitions, including the 2015 Venice Biennale, History Lessons at the Centro Atlantico de Arte Moderna in the Canary Islands, After Midnight: Indian Modernism to Contemporary India at the Queens Museum, and Lines of Control: Partition as a Productive Space at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.
Raqs was chief curator for the 11th Shanghai Biennale titled Why Not Ask Again? Maneuvers, Disputations & Stories, and organized INSERT2014 in New Delhi and Manifesta 7 European Biennial of Contemporary Art in 2008. Raqs remains closely involved with the Sarai program at the Center for the Study of Developing Societies, which they co-founded in 2000, a profoundly influential initiative of publications, symposia, and performances on issues of urbanism and media studies.