The Otolith Group: Xenogenesis
Xenogenesis presents a cross-section of The Otolith Group’s works from 2011 to 2018. Part fiction, part documentary, these films and installations address contemporary global issues: how humans have shaped the natural world; what “we” have inherited from colonialism; the unresolved histories of global Asian and African diasporas; and how “we” are changing in response to new technologies.
The term “xenogenesis” alludes to science-fiction novelist Octavia Estelle Butler (1947–2006) and her classic Xenogenesis Trilogy (later retitled Lilith’s Brood). While Butler does not appear directly in this exhibition, her work provides deep inspiration for The Otolith Group—especially the titular concept of “becoming alien” or “alien becoming.” Along with Butler, two other figures are key to the exhibition: avant-garde composer and pianist Julius Eastman (1940–1990) and the philosopher and social reformer Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941). Together, the works in Xenogenesis reflect The Otolith Group’s commitment to using images and sound to create “a science fiction of the present.”
ABOUT THE OTOLITH GROUP
Established in London in 2002, The Otolith Group consists of artist and theorist Kodwo Eshun (b. 1966) and artist Anjalika Sagar (b. 1968). The Otolith Group: Xenogenesis is organized by the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, the Netherlands and curated by Annie Fletcher, now director of the Irish Museum of Modern Art. The ICA is the only U.S. venue for Xenogenesis, and this presentation marks the group’s first large-scale exhibition in North America. The Richmond presentation includes O Horizon (2018), The Third Part of the Third Measure (2017), Sovereign Sisters (2014), Statecraft: An Incomplete Timeline of African Independence (2014–ongoing), In The Year of the Quiet Sun (2013), Who Does the Earth Think It Is (2014), Medium Earth (2013), and Anathema (2011).
UPCOMING EVENTS + SCREENINGS
There are no results.
The ICA would like to extend heartfelt thanks to everyone who contributed their presence, voice, creativity, and care to this project, including…
The Otolith Group
Co-founders Kodwo Eshun and Anjalika Sagar, and exhibition manager Hannah Liley.
Van Abbemuseum team
Curator Annie Fletcher, now director of the Irish Museum of Modern Art. Inge Borsje, Charles Esche, and Teresa Cos Rebollo of the Van Abbemuseum.
Original concept for the Van Abbemuseum developed by Studio Diogo Passarinho and adapted by the ICA team.
Led by Stephanie Smith with Enjoli Moon. Research and program support from David Riley and Dāa Guy-Vasson.
Xenogenesis Salon Series
Led by Enjoli Moon and Nontsikelelo Mutiti. Hosted by Ted Elmore, Wes Taylor, and Dominic Willsdon. Hosted by Wes Taylor, Dominic Willsdon, and Ted Elmore. Facilitated by Julius Kevon Glover, Michael Donovan, Massa Lemu, Sionne Neely, Mahari Chabwera, Michael Hall. Cohort Members and Salon Participants: Ayana Zaire Cotton, David Riley, S. Ross Browne, Lauren Francis, Sasha Waters-Freyer, Chaz Barracks, Mark Boulos, Amber Essevia, Egbert Vongmalaithong, Seimon Allen, Brian Castro, Luis Vasquez, Stephanie Smith
Octavia Butler Reading Group
Led by Egbert Vongmalaithong and Dāa Guy-Vasson. Participants: Marcela Borquez, Kendall Buster, Bryan Castro, Cielle Dullas, Carmen F. Foster, Jessica Frenzel, Larissa Garcia, Lindsay Parnell, David Riley, Stephanie Smith.
Traci Garland with administrative support from Nebi Gereme.
Production + Installation
Led by Andy Clifford. Preparators: Payton Baril, Nick Crider, Nick Fagan, Warren Jones, Dylan Languell, Margo Lentz-Meyer, Ricardo Vincente Jose Ruiz, Perrin Turner, and Sandy Williams IV. Video support from David Riley. Vinyl installation by Cut Cut.
Meredith Carrington and Grace Hoffman.
Facilities and Experience Design
Michael Lease, Greyson Goodenow, and Becky Hudson.
Led by Dan Nemer with Emerson Tedder and Alyssa Evangelista. Visitor Experience Associates: Payton Baril, Ashley Barnhill, Hunter Bonniwell, Amina Coleman-Davis, Guy Enkh, D’Anna Johnson, Beck Keller, Gabe Molina, Chris Morse, Sara Nagpal, Fufu Osei, Sam Watson, Dyani Wright, Scarly Zhao Griffin Davis, Madeline Honig, Kyle Maurer, and Andrea Medina.