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- Artists By Year
Raqs Media Collective:
The Great Bare Mat & Constellation
SEPTEMBER 20, 2012 – JANUARY 7, 2013 | Hostetter Gallery
The fall 2012 exhibition The Great Bare Mat & Constellation was comprised of new works displayed in two distinct gallery installations. The first featured 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. The Great Bare Mat gains inspiration from two exquisite Han bronze bears in the collection of the Gardner Museum, 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 installation was 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. The images of the projected video reflected 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.
Click the Programs tab above or to learn more about events associated with this exhibition, or visit our YouTube channel to see video of The Great Bare Mat Exchange: A Carpet for Conversations.
Pieranna Cavalchini, Tom and Lisa Blumenthal Curator of Contemporary Art, has been looking for new ways to archive contemporary art presented in museum exhibitions. Her concept is to transmigrate the conceptual approach used for artist book publications to a digitally born platform. The Great Bare Mat App is an artist app designed for iPad. It is an immersive experience, which will introduced viewers to the work of the Raqs Media Collective and explore highlights from the 2012 exhibition at the Museum, source materials, related conversations and talks and videos, listen to audio and read the stories behind the artworks.
The Great Bare Mat & Constellation is made possible in part by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. The Museum receives operating support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Thursday evening programming is supported by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Great Bare Mat Exchange: A Carpet for Conversations
The carpet served as a platform for a specially commissioned program of conversations at the Gardner Museum. The program consisted of a set of four 'exchanges' in Calderwood Hall, each involving four speakers, with Raqs Media Collective as moderators. These 'exchanges' reflected on themes Raqs has chosen in response to their time spent in the Museum. Each theme—nostalgia, intelligence, music, and accumulation—spoke to a specific attribute or quality of the Museum, but was to be interpreted as freely as possible.
Thursday, September 20, 7 pm
Where Does Nostalgia Take Us?
(Part of Gardner After Hours)
What does it mean to have a longing or feeling for another time? What is the distinction between nostalgia and memory? Can there be a nostalgia for the future? Is nostalgia a malaise or a melody?
Svetlana Boym, Curt Hugo Reisinger Professor of Slavic and Comparative Literatures, Harvard University; Faculty Associate, Harvard Graduate School of Design
Anne Hawley, Norma Jean Calderwood Director, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Jorge Otero-Pailos, Associate Professor of Historic Preservation and Founder/Editor of the Future Anterior Journal, Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation
David Wilson, Gardner Museum Artist-in-Residence (2009); Founding Director and Curator, Museum of Jurassic Technology, Los Angeles
Thursday, October 25, 7 pm
What Does Intelligence Do For Us?
Intelligence is a capacity that intrigues us, defines us, and gives us a distinctive value. This session will engage with questions about intelligence—its capacity, its many forms, its threats, its beauty, and more.
Arani Bose, MD, Entrepreneur; Co-Founder, Bose Pacia Gallery, New York
Chris Bratton, President of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Joan Jonas, Performance Artist
Valentine Talland, Objects Conservator, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Saturday, November 3, 1 pm
What Does Accumulation Do To Us?
Accumulation gives power and presence to people, institutions and states; it drives economies, enterprises and individuals. Accumulation is also the mode by which certain curiosities, intensities, obsessions, wonderment and desires can express themselves.
Cuauhtemoc Medina, Art Historian
Julie Nelson, Department Chair, Professor of Economics, College of Liberal Arts, University of Massachusetts, Boston
Bhrigupati Singh, Postdoctoral Scholar in International Studies and Anthropology, Brown University
Henry Zerner, Professor of History of Art and Architecture, Harvard University
Saturday, December 8, 1 pm
Why Does Music Move Is?
What does it mean to live in a world where the majority of music that is experienced is recorded, not live? This conversation will invite us to consider the significance of music by examining the consequences of its absence and the import of its presence.
Sindhumathi Revuluri, Assistant Professor of Music in Historical Musicology, Harvard University
Paavali Jumppanen, Pianist
Danijel Zezelij, Gardner Museum Artist-in-Residence (2009)
Cyro Baptista, Percussionist