Raqs Media Collective

This event has now finished. Until Sep 30 2009

'Escapement', clocks, flat screen monitors, 2009 'Escapement', clocks, flat screen monitors, 2009

Time Out says  

Posted: Wed Jul 29 2009

A sweep of 27 clocks is arranged around the gallery in that way that offices do to make them look international - displaying time in London, Paris, New York and so on (why doesn't Time Out have these?). In Mexico City it's a quarter past fatigue, in Buenos Aires it's just after ecstasy and in Shangri La it's half past awe. There's also panic in Beijing and Jakarta, but the beauty of these altered timepieces is that they will read differently every time you look. This is an international community of adjectives we all share, or at least we have done since 9/11, when words like fear and anxiety began to spread across our borders like flu pandemics.

This installation, 'Escapement', is by a trio of film school grads who took their name, 'Raqs' from the Persian, Arabic and Urdu word for the trance-like state that whirling dervishes enter into as they spin around. There's certainly a hypnotic quality to the plip-plopping, electric buzzing and pumping-heart sound effects that lend this whole horological frieze an urgency and rhythm - the sense of time and civilisation moving to its own unstoppable beat. This collective from Delhi have occasionally surfaced in London, spreading their complex geopolitical theories and treatises on nomadism, but with nothing quite so elegantly simplistic as 'Escapement'. A few of these clocks even go backwards, as do some societies, thwarting our notion of steady globalised progress. It's worth taking note of those that just refuse to go along with the norm - this merry band of time-travellers being one such example.

Frith Street Gallery details


Frith Street Gallery

17-18 Golden Square, W1F 9JJ

Transport Piccadilly Circus 


020 7494 1550


10am-6pm Tue-Fri, 11am-5pm Sat