A two-venue solo exhibition by The Otolith Group
For daily screening times during the exhibition see below
A Long Time Between Suns is produced by Gasworks and The Showroom and will take place in two parts: Part I at Gasworks and Part II at The Showroom's new space, in September 2009. The Otolith Group, comprised of artists Anjalika Sagar and Kodwo Eshun, approaches questions of archive and futurity through a moving image practice which often adopts an essayistic form. At Gasworks the group present their first two films Otolith (2003) and Otolith II (2007) within a bespoke environment designed by Will Holder.
The Otolith Group's first film elaborates on the idea of a fiction which exiles our future selves from planet earth. It is from this perspective, detached both from the earth's gravity but also the gravity of history, that The Otolith Group considers specific moments in our present and recent past for their potential to evoke alternative futures.
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 an International Space Station. The narrative follows Dr. Usha Adebaran Sagar, the future descendent of Otolith Group member Anjalika Sagar, and her research into life on earth through collected media archives. Otolith imagines a mutant future, described through a montage of archival footage, media documentary and fictional voice-over. This includes images of the 2003 anti Iraq War demonstration in London, historical documentation of Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova and footage from WWII era of non-alignment. In doing so, chronology is dismantled and the archive gains new possibilities.
Otolith II is set in the near future and mixes fiction and archival material with footage filmed in Mumbai and Chandigarh. The film explores the pressure put upon inhabitants living in contrasting and competing versions of the city of tomorrow. Chandigarh, the product of Corbusier's 1963 architectural vision and social plan is juxtaposed with contemporary scenes of Mumbai's mega-slums, contemplating a new state of becoming through its dwellers' creative solutions for survival.
Elaborating on themes that have informed the organisation of images and sounds in The Otolith Group's work, the bespoke environment designed by Will Holder acts as a production area. Throughout the duration of the exhibition, Holder will use pinboard panels to collate archival material. Once completed they will provide the content for a series of artist books available for visitors to take away.
The second part of A Long Time Between Suns will take place at The Showroom's new location in September 2009 and will present Otolith III (2009), the final film in The Otolith trilogy.
Screenings take place from Wednesday to Sunday at the following times:
12.00pm: Otolith (2003, 25min)
12.35pm: Otolith II (2007, 48min)
2.35pm: Otolith II
4.35pm: Otolith II
TALK: Communists Like Us
Wednesday 18 February 2009, 7 – 8.30pm
At The Nehru Centre , 8 South Audley Street, London W1K 1HF
A dialogue between photography and subtitles presented by The Otolith Group provides the point of departure for an archival constellation of the maoist imaginary.
Organised by the Serpentine gallery as part of the exhibition Indian Highway.
Thursday 26 February 2009, 7 – 8.30pm
Mark Fisher and Justin Barton present their audio-essay LondonunderLondon followed by a conversation with Sukhdev Sandhu and The Otolith Group on the cinegeographies and radiophonic terrains of postwar London.
SCREENING: Facs of Life
Sunday 15 March 2009, 3 – 6pm
Silvia Maglioni and Graeme Thomson present work in progress from their forthcoming film Facs of Life, which takes video footage of Gilles Deleuze's lectures at the University of Paris VIII, Vincennes (1975-76) as its starting point. The artists will touch on the question of the inarchivé (the unacknowledged or inoperative archive) and their quest for an impersonal cinema of 'betweenness'.
Co-founders of the arts platform Terminal Beach, Silvia Maglioni and Graeme Thomson are interdisciplinary researchers, artists and filmmakers. Their activities extend to hypermedia, film and photo-essays, alternative didactics, outsider music and a laboratory for clandestine, 'irrealational' art practices.
TALK: Collaborative Filmmaking
Wednesday 1 April 2009, 7 – 8.30pm
In conversation with The Otolith Group, John Akomfrah and Lina Gopaul, founding members of Black Audio Film Collective (1982-1998) discuss questions of group subjectivity, collective authorship, aesthetic production and integrated practice that emerge from the histories and potentialities of collective militant filmmaking. Rare clips from the Latin American Third Cinema of the 1960s, Bengali Parallel Cinema and Feminist collective cinema of the 1970s and the British Workshop Movement of the 1980s will provide points of departure for this wide ranging and informal discussion.
Events taking place during Part II of A Long Time Between Suns will include a seminar with The Otolith Group in collaboration with Afterall, and screenings of forthcoming work by Eyal Sivan and unseen work by Chris Marker.