Thursday, 1 February 2018

Raqs Media Collective: Twilight Language

I then made my way across the city to the Whitworth Gallery, where I ventured inside to see Raqs Media Collective's: Twilight Language. The sculptures at the front of the gallery were impressive. They appeared to be about re-writing history and deconstructing the reputations and pomp of historical figures elevated on plinths. The plaques on the sides of the plinths made interesting statements, questioning the motives and actions of the elevated figures, and also the private self-doubts of such figures in the face of their often questionable deeds. It a really intriguing, topical installation give the current historical debates about the removal of statues at Oxford University, the American south, and Australia, of local heroes who were celebrated in the past, but who's ideologies and deeds do not stand up to the standards and morals of the present day. 

Inside the gallery the exhibition continues, and it certainly looks visually impressive. The objects are wonderfully crafted and presented in a diverse range of media even using the latest 3-D printing technology. The exhibition appears to be about the passage of time and also the use and interpretation of language. I found it to be very rich in imagery but the meanings of some of the objects quite dense and impenetrable, so chose to enjoy it for the most part on a purely visual level. 

When The Scales Fall From Your Eyes - 2009

Escapement - 2009

Communard Biscuits - 2017
These were really interesting and embraced the latest technology. They are hard tack biscuits from the Paris Commune of 1871, 3-d scanned, 3-D printed and facsimile baked.

Prostheses For The History of Insurgent Crowds - 2017

I really admired the arrangements of this collaged wall of plastic doll's limbs, and the contrast of the gold and black energetic movement and mark-making of the huge wall piece below, which was positioned opposite.

Several Billion And One - 2015

Art In The Age Of Collective Intelligence - 2015

These photographs of text based designs above, interested me greatly, and related to If The World Is A Fair Place Then... (2015), the installations on the trees in the park outside (here).

Below were other text based pieces on slabs of partially coloured acrylic which I found absorbing and visually seductive. The curators have done a great job with the display and presentation of this exhibition.

36 Planes Of Emotion - 2011

Things That Happen When Falling In Love - 2010

The Necessity Of Infinity - 2017

The traditionally woven rug defaced with abstract lines of gold and silver embroidery reflected the movement of the dynamic cut-out acrylic figures circling above it.

Raqs Media Collective: Twilight Language
until 25th February 2018
The Whitworth
Oxford Road