Th 15 Oct 09
Open City Lecture and Debate:
On Thursday 15 October, the Open City Lecture and Debate are devoted to "Fear", one of the themes of the Event Program of the 4th IABR. In his lecture entitled "Damage Tolerance: Fatique, Fear and the Limits of Cities", the Indian artist, writer and curator with Raqs Media Collective, Suddhabrata Sengupta (1968, Delhi) will explore the impact fear has on our experience of – and dealings with our everyday urban environment.
"Damage Tolerance" is a term used in structural engineering to describe the ability of a material or a structure to withstand stress, fatigue and damage. In this presentation, the term, "damage tolerance" is used to open out a speculative discussion of the way in which the morphology of city space, and urbanity itself, is transformed by the recurrent patterns of fear, exclusion and anxiety that underwrite and overlay contemporary everyday urban life.
The presentation will look particularly at the transformations underway in the city of Delhi, polarized between a haphazard but spectacular overhaul of the urban fabric for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games, the paranoid discourse around security and terrorism, and the pressures of a shadowy real estate market caught between recession and escalation. The questions raised by the presentation will include a foray into imagining the possibility of transcending the tropes of fear and fatigue while living and practising in global cities.
The presentation will take the form of a lecture-performance, using elements from the ongoing artistic practice of the Raqs Media Collective, and the research and practice of the Sarai Programme at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies.
The evening will begin with a short introduction to the topic, followed by the keynote lecture and conclude with a public debate moderated by Huib Haye van der Werf, curator at the NAi, Rotterdam.
More about the Speaker
Shuddhabrata Sengupta (1968, Dehli) is an artist, writer and curator with the Raqs Media Collective and co-initiator of Sarai, a programme of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in Delhi (CSDS), India.
The work of the Raqs Collective takes the form of installations, video, photography, image-text collages, media objects (on- and off-line), performances and encounters. They cross contemporary art practice with historical and philosophical speculation, research and theory. The Raqs collective has been exhibited widely in major international spaces and events including Documenta 11 (2002), the Venice Biennale (2003, 2005), Guangzhou Triennial (2005), Sydney Biennale (2006) and Istanbul Biennial (2007), among others.
Raqs Media Collective have recently curated Steps Away from Oblivion for Indian Highway at the Serpentine Gallery, London; The Rest of Now in Bolzano/Bozen and co-curated Scenarios at Fortezza/ Franzensfeste for Manifesta 7 in South Tyrol, Italy.
Sengupta works at Sarai Media Lab and is editor of the Sarai Reader Series
In collaboration with the curatorial team of the IABR, the NAI presents a series of Thursday-night keynote lectures in which a group of internationally renowned speakers from different backgrounds will reflect on the overall thematic of the IABR and its various subthemes. The 4th edition of the IABR, curated by Kees Christiaanse is entitled Open City: Designing Coexistence and focuses on the concept of the "Open City" as an urban condition that enables different groups to interact. The Thursday-night lectures present a diverse selection of critical arguments and approaches regarding the idea of Open City which contribute to an evaluation of the concept within the context of today’s urban societies. All evenings will begin with a brief introduction by one of the (sub)curators, connecting the lecture of that evening to a section of the Biennale, and will conclude with a moderated debate and a Q & A with the audience.
+31 10 4401342
Auditorium, NAI - 8:00 pm
€ 5 / € 3 / IABR passe-partout - in English