Jeebesh Bagchi, Monica Narula, and Shuddhabrata Sengupta of Raqs Media Collective conducted a residency in March 2009. Their visit to Hong Kong was spent exploring and imagining the vanished walls of Kowloon Walled City and between the shelves of Asia Art Archive. This period inspired new strands in the Collective's investigations into the memory and amnesia, persistence and erasure, of streets, walls, and documents.

Throughout the month, a series of interventions, performances, and events took place around the residency including:

Lecture performance 'As Transient as a Whale'
Lecture performance 'As Transient as a Whale'


Lecture Performance
Raqs Media Collective presented the results of their foray into Hong Kong in the form of a lecture performance entitled 'As Transient as a Whale', with images, research notes, film fragments and stories of lost whales and found objects. The lecture performance annotated an in-situ installation at Asia Art Archive titled 'Decomposition.'  

In-situ Installation
The Collective’s residency culminated in an in-situ installation which used found poetry and accidental discoveries in the Archive as a playful gesture of appreciation of the labour of the archivist. The installation is composed of the following parts:

- Two sets of jigsaw puzzles imprinted with the words Key & Mu(目) over/inside the display box: ‘The word Index – the key to archive and to memory – in a Chinese dictionary offers the character – Mu (目). Mu – or the eye – can also be used to begin all sorts of words including miracle, and sub-list, or catalogue or index. There is something mundane yet miraculous in the diligent labour that an archivist performs in order to transform a mass of disorderly information into a working archive. The eye, the lists that the eye makes, is the key to the delicate balance between order and decomposition in the archive.’ (Excerpted from the lecture performance)

- 25 tiles imprinted with the map of Kowloon Walled City during 1987

- 120 index cards individually imprinted bringing together 40 sets of prose from the titles of books, publications and catalogues in the archive. In its own way, this assemblage acts as a Mu (eye) to the holdings of the archive.

The 40 sets of prose from the AAA collection:
Metropolis Omi-vision| Brushed Strangers |The Impostor of Evidence| Speculation Watchtowers | In Search of Travels Mundane| Bye-Bye Portraits |Third Mind Participation | Freehold War Fever |Little Boy Snores Louder | Simple Stone Like Skin |Copyright Fossilization |Electronic Passing Time |Playful Bare Acts |Painted Bride in the Sky| Want to Believe Geometry |Regeneration Pioneer | Sky Merging in Progress | Decomposition |Discrepant Abstraction | Peripheral Oracles |Some Constructions | Landscape Critique and After |Uncommon Position Manual |Interview Gardens |Nothing Perceptual |Supermarket Heterotopias |Times Imprinted Lights |Deep Feeling Way | Zero Surplus Value | Mapping Another Fine Day | Desire Mist | A Cartoon Image is Power |My Beautiful Museum Triangle |Entertain Wayward Economy |Untouchable Factory |Confidential Intrusion| Parasite Trans-experiences |Anti-Art War Fare | Directory Making Time | Sanguine Shape of Time


About Raqs Media Collective

Raqs Media Collective was formed in 1992 by Jeebesh Bagchi, Monica Narula, and Shuddhabrata Sengupta. The Collective is based in Delhi and works at Sarai, a programme at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, an initiative they co-founded in 2001.Their work takes the form of installations, video, photography, image-text collages, media objects, performances, and encounters. They cross contemporary art practice with historical and philosophical speculation, research and theory. They curate and have also published extensively.

Sponsored by Sovereign Art Foundation
Supported by home2home

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