Eight sculptures (resin), nine plinths (wood and bitumen) and nine plaques (faux black marble)
Giardini, ‘All the World’s Futures’, Venice Biennale (2015); ‘Twilight Language’, The Whitworth, University of Manchester (2017)
Raqs interrupted the Giardini within Coronation Park, an assemblage of plinths, sculptures and plaques that invoked the aesthetic of public garden sculptures. The sculptures are fragments of ceremonial regalia, residues of authoritative stances, and the accoutrements of dematerialized power —and they commemorate neither victory nor defeat. They offer nine meditations on hubris.
Coronation Park echoes and amplifies the accidental epiphany that Raqs experienced a long time ago about the nature of power at the eponymous derelict quasi-ceremonial space where relics of the British Raj are kept for the consideration of an absent public at the outskirts of Delhi.
Raqs proposed an itinerary through the Giardini, where the structures constituted a series of ‘stations’ that invite the viewer to reflect on the inner life of power. These formations are annotated by statements inscribed on circular faux marble plaques, adapted from George Orwell’s parable about the recognition of the brittleness of Imperial authority, the essay, ‘Shooting an Elephant’.