Raqs Media Collective: 1980 in Parallax

3 Apr-22 Dec 2023

The Cosmic House
London W11 3AH


The term parallax describes an optical phenomenon, the effect by which the position of an object seems to change when it is observed from different angles; the experience of moving through a landscape in which the foreground changes dynamically in relation to a more static background. ‘1980 in Parallax’ unfolds around a new commission by Raqs Media Collective and takes this phenomenon as its starting point when describing perceptions of a particular moment in history while moving through time – past and present – interrogating varied geographies of perceived slippages between centre and periphery.

A moment with momentum, the year 1980 is both an end and a beginning. It marked the transition between key decades, bringing about momentous political and technological shifts of global significance, the reverberations of which we are still living through today. Another beginning and end – often described as ‘the beginning of the end’ – was signalled by the launch of the first ever Venice Architecture Biennale in 1980. Entitled ‘The Presence of the Past,’ it famously announced Post-Modernism as the new international paradigm of architecture and proposed a canon that was to be more polyphonic. The same ideas shaped the designs of Charles and Maggie Jencks’ family home, also known as The Cosmic House, which was being detailed during this very period.

The new commission The Bicyclist Who Fell into a Time Cone oscillates between fact and fiction while describing 1980 as a transient moment that nevertheless left a significant mark on our collective imaginaries: ‘There’s a 1980 hidden in every year.’ The tectonic of the work alludes to Post-Modern methods with pendulating views between vast eternal landscapes and historical footage that the narrator and cyclist traverse. Sharing an affinity with The Cosmic House, a complex diagram of time itself, the work invites us to think about temporality and offers a method of ‘kinetic contemplation’ to destabilise mainstream narratives and what is taken for granted. Complemented by Betaal Tareef: In Praise of Off-time (and its Entities), a configuration of five graphic ‘imprints’ and three augmented-reality ‘interferences’ spread across various levels of The Cosmic House, Raqs Media Collective’s work extends the physical architecture of the house and its potential interpretations.

The exhibition launches the Jencks Foundation’s first research theme, ‘isms and ‘wasms: 1980 in Parallax, an exercise in remapping the year 1980, looking back – once again – in order to look forward and reconsider the Post-Modern canon from the critical distance of 43 years and from parallax views. This theme will be developed over the year through seminars, commissions and salons, more details of which will be published on our website throughout the year.



Czech Centre London, Vitrínka Gallery
until 26 Mar
Design Museum
until 2 Jun
Oli Kellett: Waiting for a Sign
HackelBury Fine Art
until 2 Mar
Refik Anadol: Echoes of the Earth: Living Archive
until 7 Apr
Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto
until 10 Mar
Accordion Fields
Lisson Gallery, 27 Bell St
until 4 May
The Showroom Mural Commission | Kay Abude, Be Creative Remain Resilient
The Showroom
until 28 Jul
Scene I: Glen Pudvine, Mug
Matt Carey-Williams​​​​‌‍​‍​‍‌‍‌​‍‌‍‍‌‌‍‌‌‍‍‌‌‍‍​‍​‍​‍‍​‍​‍‌​‌‍​‌‌‍‍‌‍‍‌‌‌​‌‍‌​‍‍‌‍‍‌‌‍​‍​‍​‍​​‍​‍‌‍‍​‌​‍‌‍‌‌‌‍‌‍​‍​‍​‍‍​‍​‍​‍‌​‌‌​‌‌‌‌‍‌​‌‍‍‌‌‍​‍‌‍‍‌‌‍‍‌‌​‌‍‌‌‌‍‍‌‌​​‍‌‍‌‌‌‍‌​‌‍‍‌‌‌​​‍‌‍‌‌‍‌‍‌​‌‍‌‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌‍‌‌
until 2 Mar
Accordion Fields
Lisson Gallery, 67 Lisson St
until 4 May
Jonathan Callan
Patrick Heide Contemporary Art
until 23 Mar
Uncharted Street: Kurt Hutton, Bill Brandt, Edith Tudor-Hart, Charlie Phillips, Markéta Luskačová - Photographs from the Hyman Collection
Ben Uri Gallery And Museum
until 8 Mar
Francis Picabia – Women: Works on Paper 1902-1950
Michael Werner Gallery
until 3 May
Turner and Bonington: Watercolours from the Wallace Collection
The Wallace Collection
until 21 Apr
Rong Bao Is Me
Saatchi Gallery
until 31 Mar
Celebrating Silver
Hamiltons Gallery
until 9 Mar
The Leisure Centre
The Brown Collection
until 3 Aug
Charlott Weise: For these thoughts we change into pink
until 8 Mar
Good Night Moon
JD Malat Gallery
until 2 Mar
Sadie Coles HQ, Davies Street
until 27 Apr