Betaal Tareef: In Praise of Off-time (and its Entities)

Augmented Reality Figures, wall frescoes in metallic paper

‘Being Theoria’, Zhejiang Art Museum, 4th Hangzhou Triennial of Fiber Art, China (2022); Cosmic House, London (2023); Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre, Mumbai (2024)

A configuration of five graphic ‘imprints’ and three augmented-reality ‘interferences’ spread across various levels of The Cosmic House, London, Raqs Media Collective’s work extends the physical architecture of the house and its potential interpretations.

In Betaal Taareef, machines, imagined insects and other invented objects hover in non-space, accompany three variations of topological figures that invoke Raqs’ longstanding engagement with the figure of the Betaal. 

Betaal is a shape-shifting goblin popular in Indic folklore and myth that is known to stand aslant in relation to received chronologies. A betaal (literally, ‘off time’) poses riddles, and generally disrupts common-sense by throwing counterintuitive questions that are contrapuntal to the flow of ordinary time.

Betaal Tareef is an appreciation of the anomalous, enigmatic spirit of time that gestures to, and embodies the things that remain hidden in the folds of temporal experience.

5 imprints

The 5 imprints bringing together agents of transport and contagion are:
In Praise of The Twisted Utterance
In Praise of The Uneasy Rider
In Praise of The Circumspect Circumambulator
In Praise of Flying Phenomena
In Praise of Incarnate Transgressions

 3 Interferences

The ‘interferences’ are augmented reality figures that come between an observer and reality when a tablet is activated in the space that the work is inserted in. They take the form of mobile topological renditions of knots, virtual concatenations of impossible configuration and other figures of thought. 

The 3 interferences are : 
In Praise of Hovering Desires
In Praise of Radiating Impulses
In Praise of Cyclical Consequences