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Shuddhabrata Sengupta | Kinetic Contemplation: Raqs Media Collective in Medias Res

Lecture | November 7 | 5-7 p.m. | Wheeler Hall, Maude Fife Room, Room 315


Shuddhabrata Sengupta, Artist and writer, and member of Raqs Media Collective

Institute for South Asia Studies, Arts Research Center, Department of English, Department of Art Practice, University of California Humanities Research Institute, The South Asia Art Initiative at UC Berkeley


The South Asia Art Initiative in collaboration with the Arts Research Center, the Department of English, the Department of Art Practice, and the University of California Humanities Research Institute at UC Berkeley are delighted to welcome Shuddhabrata Sengupta to campus.

Shuddhabrata Sengupta is an artist and writer, and member of Raqs Media Collective, a group that combines research, historical and philosophical inquiry, and contemporary art. In 2002 Sengupta co-initiated Sarai, a platform for discursive partnerships between theorists, researchers, practitioners, and artists engaged in reflecting on contemporary urban spaces and cultures in South Asia at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi. Sengupta also co-edits the Sarai Reader Series. Raqs Media Collective’s work has been shown internationally at exhibitions such as: Documenta 11, Kassel, 2009; 10th International Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, 2007; 51st Venice Biennale, Venice, 2005; and 2nd Guangzhou Triennial, Guangzhou, 2005. Raqs Media Collective was co-curator of Manifesta 7, Bolzano, 2008. Raqs Media Collective’s recent exhibitions include: The Capital Of Accumulation, Hebbel am Ufer, Berlin and Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, 2010; Things that Happen While Falling in Love, Baltic, Gateshead, 2010; The Surface of Each Day is a Different Planet, Tate Britain, London, 2009; Escapement, Frith Street Gallery, London, 2009; and When the Scales fall From Your Eyes, Ikon, Birmingham, 2009. Sengupta lives and works in Delhi. [Last updated 2010]

Raqs Media Collective (Monica Narula, Jeebesh Bagchi & Shuddhabrata Sengupta) follows its self-declared imperative of ‘kinetic contemplation’ to produce a trajectory that is restless in its forms and methods, yet concise with the infra procedures that it invents. The collective makes contemporary art, edits books, curates exhibitions, and stages situations. It has collaborated with architects, computer programmers, writers, curators, and theatre directors, and has made films. It co-founded Sarai—the inter-disciplinary and incubatory space at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi—in 2001, where it initiated processes that have left deep impact on contemporary culture in India.

Exhibitions curated by Raqs include ‘The Rest of Now’ (Manifesta 7, Bolzano, 2008), Sarai Reader 09 (Gurugram, 2012-13), INSERT2014 (New Delhi, 2014) and ‘Why Not Ask Again’ (Shanghai Biennale 2016-2017). Their work has been exhibited at Documenta, the Venice, Sao Paulo, Manifesta, Istanbul, Shanghai, Sydney and Taipei Biennales. Their prospective, ‘With an Untimely Calendar’ was held at the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, in 2014-2015. Other solo shows at museums include at the Isabella Gardner Museum (Boston 2012), CA2M (Madrid 2014), MUAC (Mexico City 2015), Tate Exchange (London 2016), Foundacion Proa (Buenos Aires 2015), Laumeier Sculpture Park (St Louis 2016), and the Whitworth Art Gallery (Manchester 2017).

This talk was supported in part by the Institute for South Asia Studies at UC Berkeley's South Asia Art Initiative. Inaugurated in Spring 2018, this Initiative is the culmination of a comprehensive art program, built over the past several years, that promoted conversation around the visual cultures of South Asia through talks, conferences, and exhibitions. The goal of the Initiative is to move onto the next level with local, national, and international collaborations that combine creative energies with insights drawn from scholarly research. To read more about the Initiative or to help support its various fundraising goals, please click HERE.

Note: ARC’s 2018-19 program is a collaboration between ARC Interim Director Natalia Brizuela (Film & Media and Spanish & Portuguese), Tarek Elhaik (Anthropology, UC Davis), Anneka Lenssen (History of Art), Leigh Raiford (African American Studies) and Poulomi Saha (English), supported by a generous grant from The University of California Humanities Research Institute (UCHRI).

This project was supported in part by the University of California Office of the President MRPI funding MR-15-328710.


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Event made possible with the support of the Sarah Kailath Chair of India Studies
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PARKING: Please note that parking is not easily available in Berkeley. Take public transportation or arrive early.
Event is FREE and OPEN to the public.


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