Xenogenesis, presented by Sharjah Art Foundation from 13 November 2021 to 5 February 2022, brings together a selection of key works by The Otolith Group, the London-based art collective consisting of Anjalika Sagar and Kodwo Eshun, founded in 2002. Featuring a cross-section of works produced by the collective between 2011 and 2018, the exhibition reflects the artists’ ongoing commitment to creating what they call ‘a science fiction of the present’ through images, voices, sounds and performance. Suspended between fiction, poetry, documentary and theory, The Otolith Group’s post-cinematic films, high-definition videos and multiple screen installations address contemporary social issues and themes inherited from colonialism, the way in which humans have impacted the earth, and the influence of new media on human activities.
The title of the exhibition references the African-American science fiction novelist Octavia Butler’s legendary Xenogenesis trilogy. Butler’s ideas inform Eshun and Sagar’s longstanding preoccupation with the promise and threat of the idea of ‘alien becoming’, or ‘becoming alien’.