artists & participants
Gasworks and The Showroom are collaborating to produce a two-part exhibition titled A Long Time Between Suns, the first solo presentation of The Otolith Group’s work in London. The Otolith Group, comprised of artists Anjalika Sagar and Kodwo Eshun, approach questions of archive and futurity through a moving image practice which often adopts an essay-like form. Rather than returning to the past as a means to reconnect with its perceived historicity, the Group envisages a future in which the past is treated as a relic that has the potential to inform the present and modify the future.
A Long Time Between Suns will begin at Gasworks with the artists’ first two films Otolith (2003) and Otolith II (2007). Otolith is set in the 22nd Century, when the human race is no longer able to survive on earth and must live outside its gravitational pull, on the International Space Station. Dr. Usha Adebaran Sagar, the future descendent of Otolith Group member Anjalika Sagar, is an exo-anthropologist researching life on an earth that she can experience only through media archives. Otolith imagines a mutant future that simultaneously harks back to the post WWII era of non-alignment so as to indicate a connection between the production of commonality in South Asia, USSR and the present.
Otolith II is set in the near future and mixes fiction, archival material and documentary footage filmed in Mumbai and Chandigarh. The film explores the affective pressure exerted upon inhabitants living in contrasting and competing versions of the city of tomorrow. Otolith II investigates the politics of futurity in which predictive models of the masterplan, the corporate scenario and real estate speculation converge to extract labour, convert attention and capture potential for profit.
The second part of A Long Time Between Suns will take place at The Showroom's new location and will present Otolith III (2009), the final film in The Otolith trilogy. Otolith III takes The Alien, the unrealised screenplay of the legendary Bengali director Satyajit Ray, as its point of departure. Written in 1967, The Alien would have been the first science fiction film to be set in contemporary India. Otolith III returns to 1967 to propose an alternative trajectory in which the fictional protagonists of The Alien attempt to seize the means of production in order to create the conditions for their existence as images. Filmed in London, Otolith III is an experiment in temporal and geographical displacement which The Group call a premake, a remake of a film before the original.
At Gasworks and at The Showroom, the films will be screened in a specially commissioned environment designed by an architect (architect tbc).
Part II will take place between 2 May - 28 June 2009 at The Showroom.
A Long Time Between Suns
15.02.09 - 05.04.09 Gasworks Gallery, London
02.05.09 - 28.06.09 The Showroom, London