Raqs Media Collective | The Great Bare Mat & Constellation, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston

Posted On:Thursday, September 20th, 2012 | by project88newsadmin

Raqs Media Collective
The Great Bare Mat & Constellation
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston
20 September 2012 – 7 January 2013

The fall exhibition The Great Bare Mat & Constellation is comprised of new works displayed in two distinct gallery installations. The first features a carpet, a surface for the staging of conversations, displayed at the feet of The Vinegar Tasters, a two-fold 17th-century Japanese screen from the Gardner Museum’s collection.

8-Raqs Gardner 1

The Great Bare Mat gains inspiration from two exquisite Han bronze bears in the collection of the Gardner Museum and mat-weights from China that served to weigh down carpets on which debaters would sit and argue philosophical points. Woven by a team of expert Bulgarian weavers of the Rodopski Kilim Carpet Factory, Bulgaria, the carpet features a repeated motif that indexes the constellation of the Great Bear against a background of signals, essays and conversations between three personal computers of the Raqs Media Collective.

The second, is a silent looped video projection that transforms, through a series of subtle alterations, the many photographs and film stills the artists recorded while in residence at the Gardner Museum in 2010.

Raqs 2

The images of the projected video reflect onto an adjacent gallery wall, where a luminous array of shiny metal surfaces mirroring distinct narratives create a crescendo of accumulated images in the mind of the viewer, much like what happens while walking through the galleries of the Museum.

Also, The Great Bare Mat Exchange is a specially commissioned series of conversations consisting of four ‘exchanges’ in Calderwood Hall, each involving four speakers, with Artists-in-Residence Raqs Media Collective as moderators. These ‘exchanges’ will reflect on themes Raqs has chosen in response to their time spent in the Museum.