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As Transient as a Whale Lecture-Performance Hong Kong Art Centre Thursday, 26 March, 6.30-8.00pm

Decomposition,In situ installation ,Asia Art Archive Opens Monday, 30 March
In conclusion of Raqs Media Collective’s residency at Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong, March 2009:
A city forgets but an archive grows. For the last few weeks, the Raqs Media Collective’s time in Hong Kong has been spent in the shadow of the vanished walls of Kowloon Walled City and between the shelves of Asia Art Archive. The transience of this sojourn has inaugurated new strands in the collective’s investigations into the memory and amnesia, persistence and erasure, of streets, walls and documents.

They will present the results of their foray into Hong Kong in the form of a lecture performance titled ‘As Transient as a Whale’, with images, research notes, film fragments and stories of lost whales and found objects.

The lecture performance annotates an in-situ installation at Asia Art Archive titled ‘Decomposition’. The installation, which uses found poetry and accidental discoveries in the Archive, is a playful gesture of appreciation of the labour of the archivist.

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 program of 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.

Raqs has been exhibited widely in major international spaces and events including Documenta 11 (2002), the Venice Biennale (2003, 2005), the Guangzhou Triennial (2005), and the Istanbul Biennial (2007). Their writings have also been published extensively. They curated “The Rest of Now” in Bolzano/Bozen and co-curated “Scenarios” for Manifesta 7, Italy.

AAA’s International Residency
Over the past eight years AAA has built one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of material for contemporary art with a regional focus. By bringing together this material, our aim is to offer exciting opportunities for new interpretations.

For this reason, AAA has established an annual residency program in Hong Kong for artists, critics and curators working in the field. The goal of the residency is to encourage new readings of the physical material in the archive, to offer individuals the chance to work with material outside their usual comfort zones, and to support interesting ideas and projects around the idea of the ‘archive’.

Founded in 2000, AAA is a dynamic organization with the mission to facilitate the exploration learning and understanding of contemporary art from the region with a publicly accessible library and archive collection of over 23,000 items of material, public programs, research projects and our website.



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