The Pandemic Circle by Raqs Media Collective

  • Partner Programs
  • December 1, 2020 12:00 am CDT

    A World Premiere of New Videos on December 1, 2020

    Commissioned by Stamps Gallery, Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design, and in partnership with EXPO CHICAGO on December 1, 2020.

    Curated by Srimoyee Mitra.

    Raqs Media Collective’s two new films twentyfourbyseven (7 mins, video, calligraphy, text, animation), 2020 and Why do they call the answer to a question, a solution? (12 minutes, video, spoken word), 2020 complete the Pandemic Circle that they embarked upon with their recent video 31 Days. Together, this suite of poignant and poetic videos grapple with the pervasive and dispersed impact on daily routines and relationships with one another, and beyond, in the age of the Coronavirus. In the summer of 2020, Raqs Media Collective released 31 Days (18 minutes, video, calligraphy, text) three months after the predicament of quarantine and seclusion caused by the Covid-19 pandemic gripped contemporary life across the globe. Offering a meditation on a restless world in a quiet time, 31 Days explored the weight and ambivalence of loss through haunting repetition, things gleaned from the corner of one’s eye, and fragments seen, heard and sensed between the three members of Raqs. The new works deepen their inquiry into the tensions of time and place. 31 Daysembodied a sense of timelessness, as well as making place ambiguous; a new non-place (in cyberspace) emerges as if the geographical location is irrelevant.

    Both time and place remain key as they inform world views, IP addresses, and perspectives beyond 31 Days. It has been nine months and counting since “work from home” has become status quo. While the third wave of Covid-19 spreads throughout the world, Raqs continues the conversation and lucid dreaming with two new highly anticipated works: twentyfourbyseven (6 minutes) and Why do they call the answer to a question, a solution? (12 minutes).

    Description of NEW Films in the Pandemic Circle

    twentyfourbyseven (7 mins , video, calligraphy, text, animation), 2020

    Walking a tightrope between knowing and feeling in elongated pandemic days and nights. There is an awareness of the awareness of how the nervous system responds to the nervousness of this time. There is now the out-of-body sensation of looking back on each moment as it passes, twentyfourbyseven.

    Why do they call the answer to a question, a solution? (12 mins, video, spoken word), 2020

    The third video in this Pandemic Circle turns into an enquiry into the very form of thinking. It moves between lesions, joys, epiphanies, and terror. The image and voice rewire spaces left unattended by various 20th century impasses. The film reflects on exhaustion and inventiveness, love and dignity, deep pasts and faint futures, and the ruptures that modulate the share of “overcoming” and “overturning” in our individual selves, and collective life. The video enters troubled waters to search for news way to look at horizons.