Aaron Royce, Contributing Writer
Electronic music poured through overhead speakers in the Institute for Contemporary Art on Friday as Richmond art fans and students filled the lobby for the opening of “The Otolith Group: Xenogenesis.”
The Otolith Group’s first large-scale North American exhibit, coined after Octavia Butler’s novel series of the same name, includes vintage African postage stamps, pixelated video clips, ghost-like statue animations and music.
It presents films and installations from 2011 to 2018 that are focused on global topics of colonial inheritance, identity and technology. The group says the exhibit intends to ignite conversation and show viewers new perspectives.
“We want our art to confront you with terms which you recognize, but which at the same time are unfamiliar,” Otolith co-founder Kodwo Eshun said. “Estrangement, alienation, intimacy, monstrosity, familiarity, peculiarity … all of these things are somehow brought together in these terms.”
The Otolith Group was formed in London in 2002 by Anjalika Sagar and Eshun. Their work explores film, audio, curations and installations that address themes of the complexities of human life, as well as non-human, inhuman and environmental subjects.