Hungry for Time. An invitation to epistemic disobedience with Raqs Media Collective, in the Art Collections of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna has undergone a fundamental renovation and modernization and returned this summer to its historical building on Schillerplatz. For this occasion, the internationally active artist and curator trio from New Delhi, Raqs Media Collective (Jeebesh Bagchi, Monica Narula, Shuddhabrata Sengupta), was asked to survey the historical art collections—the Paintings Gallery, the Graphic Collection and the Plaster Cast Collection—from an external perspective and to mediate a thematic reorientation in dialogue with contemporary art. Hungry for Time developed through a collaboration with the Academy’s own expertise while taking the current decolonialism discourse in art and cultural studies into account, thereby opening up a new way of perceiving the art collections.
In the historical ambience of the Aula and the Paintings Gallery, Raqs Media Collective presents a show that apprehends time from the perspective of hunger and desire, the eponymous hunger for time . In eleven scenes this hunger for time is outlined in more detail. The scenes assemble artworks from all three of the historical collections and relate these to contemporary art, including works commissioned especially for the exhibition.
The kernel of each scene is an artwork from the historical collections, for example, the Last Judgement Triptych by Hieronymus Bosch or graphic art by Thomas Ender. For some of the scenes, Raqs Media Collective has invited artistic and curatorial interlocutors like the Discursive Justice Ensemble (Kabelo MALATSIE, Michelle WONG, Lantian XIE), or the artist duo Rohini Devasher and Pallavi Paul. Each kernel acts as a magnet, attracting other works—historical, as well as contemporary. The scenes tell stories—about broken limbs and deformed justice, about efflorescent designs on space and time, about the hubris of trying to evade mortality, and about perspectives on how faces, landscapes, and gazes haunt a collection. Walking through the scenes invites the visitor to ask how a necessary epistemic disobedience (Walter D. Mignolo) can come to be.
The interplay of lighting, acoustic ambience, juxtapositions, superimpositions, interpretive texts and notes in the margins produces breaks in linearity, continuity and chronology; the progression from station to station yields new insights into the art collections.
Artists in the exhibition Hungry for Time
Willem van Aelst, Nazgol Ansarinia, Joannis Avramidis, Stefano della Bella, Johann Bitterlich, Christoph Wilhelm Bock, Pieter Boel, Hieronymus Bosch, Simnikiwe Buhlungu, Domenico Campagnola, Ali Cherri, Daniel Chodowiecki, Pieter Codde, Jacques Courtois, Jean-Baptiste Decável, Discursive Justice Ensemble (Kabelo Malatsie, Michelle Wong, Lantian Xie), Nico Dockx, Albrecht Dürer, Julie Edel Hardenberg, Thomas Ender, Denise Ferreira da Silva, Jan Fyt, Bonaventura Genelli, Giovanni di Paolo di Grazia, Rajyashri Goody, Joseph Grigely, Artur Grottger, Franz Xaver Gruber, Nilbar Güreş, Johann Gottfried Haid, Abhishek Hazra, Josef Heideloff, Jan van der Heyden, Melchior d’ Hondecoeter, Jan van Huysum, Sanja Iveković, Franz Jäger the younger, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Hein Koh, Lakshmana Rao Kotturu, Pieter van Laer, Farideh Lashai, Maria Lassnig, Christine Leins, Melchior Lorch, Nicola Malinconico, Lavanya Mani, Arun Vijai Mathavan, Maria Sibylla Merian, Jan Miel, Josef Mikl, Jota Mombaça, Monogrammist A. C., Monogrammist L. F., Huma Mulji, Adriaen van Ostade, Ryan Presley, Raqs Media Collective (Jeebesh Bagchi, Monica Narula, Shuddhabrata Sengupta), Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn, Rachel Ruysch, Jean le Saive (Jean de Namur), Egon Schiele, Jacques van Schuppen, Ayesha Singh, Dayanita Singh, Nicole Six and Paul Petritsch, Pieter Snayers, Pieter Claesz. Soutman, Artist duo SPLICE (Rohini Devasher and Pallavi Paul), Theodor Stundl, Pierre Subleyras, Fiona Tan, Pietro Tenerani, David Teniers the younger, Franz Thaler, Titian (Tiziano Vecellio), Paul Troger, Jaret Vadera, Alice Wanke, Jan Weenix, Philips Wouwerman, Congcong Zhang and plaster casts after Michelangelo Buonarroti, Phidias, Praxiteles, Bertel Thorvaldsen and others
Curators: Raqs Media Collective (Jeebesh Bagchi, Monica Narula, Shuddhabrata Sengupta)
Associate Curator, Research-Coordinator: Barbara Mahlknecht
Head of the Paintings Collection: Claudia Koch
Head of the Graphic Collection: René Schober
Interface management of the Art Collections and Head of Communication: Claudia Bauer
Curator of the Plaster Cast Collection: Andrea Domanig
Head of Exhibition Production: Karin Julia Haas
Exhibition Display: Nicole Six and Paul Petritsch
Media Management and Technology: Michael Niemetz
Administration of the Graphic Collection: Viktoria Cordts
Restoration: Carolin Bohlmann, Astrid Lehner, Andreas Hartl, Hilde Seidl
Framing: Martina Brunner, Norbert Nabernik
Art Education, Events and New Media: Sofie Wünsch
Publication Management: Doris Geml
Office, Administration: Silvia Edtinger, Susanne Passauer
Museum Staff, Cashier and Supervisory Staff: Johann Benkner, Catharina Bren, Franz Ettl, Mirjana Fabric, Margreta Järger, Robert Pelzer, Heidemarie Schrott, Wolfgang Specht, Axel Sprenger
Art Education: Elisabeth Alhmidi, Simonne Baur, Andrea Ernst, Emmi Franke, Johannes Karel, Manuel Kreiner, Angelina Piatti, Markus Schön, Stephanie Sentall, Živa Vavpotič
Image Archive Austria, Austrian National Library
Cinestar Filmverleih Burg Kino, Vienna
Austrian Film Museum, Vienna
Austrian Media Library, Technical Museum, Vienna
and Vienna Art Handling