The Otolith Group: Communists Like Us Screening and Conversation


Asia Art Archive in America
Wednesday, June 6, 2018

A screening of The Otolith Group‘s Communists Like Us (2006–10, B&W & Sound SD Video, 23’05”), followed by discussion with the artists moderated by Beth Citron, Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art, at the Rubin Museum of Art.

In the film, images from archives of photographic documentation of encounters between politicians and activists in India with their counterparts in Japan, Mao’s China, and other Asian countries from the mid 1950s to the early ’60s are overlaid with transcribed dialogue from Jean Luc Godard’ s 1967 film La Chinoise, creating a conversation between historical archives, photography, cinema, and art.

During the post-screening discussion, the artists reflect on the nature of their research-led film and video-making projects and introduce their new film, O Horizon, part of the exhibition “A Lost Future,” at the Rubin Museum.

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The Otolith Group is an award-winning collaboration founded by the artists and theorists Anjalika Sagar and Kodwo Eshun in 2002. Their work is located in the production of moving image works, audioworks, performances and installations and is characterized by an engagement with research which began with the cultural and political legacies and potentialities of Non Aligned movements, New Media, Black Study, Afrofuturism, Indofuturism and thinking speculatively with science fictions of the present, expanding the notion of the essay film against the traditions of documentary form. Their methodologies also formally incorporate post lens-based essayistic aesthetics that explore the temporal anomalies, anthropic inversions and synthetic alienation of the posthuman, the inhuman, the non-human and the anti human. The artistic focus on the essayistic and the decolonial has always gone together with an engagement with the history of futures and the futures of histories. Expanding on the work of The Otolith Group is the public platform The Otolith Collective. The Otolith Collective has approached curation as an artistic practice of building intergenerational and cross-cultural platforms. These platforms have critically engaged the work of Chris Marker, Harun Farocki, Anand Patwardhan, Etel Adnan, Black Audio Film Collective, Sue Clayton, Mani Kaul, Peter Watkins and Chimurenga in the United Kingdom, United States, Europe, and Lebanon.

The practice of The Otolith Collective includes curating, programming, artists’ writing, workshops, publication, and teaching, together developing close readings of image and sound in contemporary society. The Otolith Group and Collective have been presented by biennials, museums, foundations, public galleries, community spaces, art schools, universities, cinemas, and informal spaces across the world. Most recently their work has been presented at the 13th Forum Expanded, Berlinale, Berlin; Savvy Contemporary, Berlin, Khiasma, Paris; The Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven; the 13th Sharjah Biennial, Sharjah; Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; and Haus Der Kulturen de Welt, Berlin. The Otolith Group was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2010 and commissioned to create a new work for Documenta 13 in 2012.

Beth Citron is the Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art, at the Rubin Museum of Art. Her exhibitions for the Rubin Museum have included “Chitra Ganesh” (2018), “Genesis Breyer P-Orridge: Try to Altar Everything” (2016), “Francesco Clemente: Inspired by India” (2014), and the three-part exhibition series “Modernist Art from India” (2011–13). She completed a Ph.D. in the History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania, and has taught in the Art History Department at New York University, from which she also earned a B.A. in Fine Arts.

Image caption: The Otolith Group, Communists Like Us (still), 2006–10. Courtesy of the artist.

ALL KEYWORDS

20th century, abstract art, Abstraction, Access, acrylic, acrylic painting, Afghanistan, Alternative Space, American History, Animation, Anthology, anthropology, Architecture, Archive, Art Administration, art history, art writing, Artificial Intelligence, artist book, artist's book, artist’s book, Asia Art Archive, Asian American, Automation, Autonomy, avant-garde, Bangladesh, Buddhism, Burma, Cambodia, care-giving, Catalogue, Censorship, Central Asia, ceramic art, ceramics, Chance, Chengdu, China, Chinatown, cities, collage, Collecting, Collective, Collectivity, commercial art, Communism, Composition, conceptual art, conceptual photography, Conservation, contemporary art, Cultural Revolution, culture, Curating, Cutlural Revolution, Design, Diaspora, digital, digital poetics, digital print, Displacement, DNA, Documentary, Domestic Labor, Drawing, east asia, Economics, Education, encyclopedia, EPOXY, essays, exhibition, Exhibition History, Experimental Music, Feminism, Festivals, Fiction, Field-recording, Film, Fluxus, Folklore, Form, Foundations, Gender, Genetics, Geography, ghosts, Godzilla, Graphic Novel, group exhibition, Gutai, Gwangju Biennale, histories, history, Hong Kong, hong kong S.A.R., humanities, Identity, Imaging, Imitation, in situ, independent art space, Independent Publisher, Index, India, Indonesia, Infrastructure, ink, ink and colors, ink painting, ink-painting, Installation, installation art, Institution, Internet, Iran, Island, Japan, Khmer Rouge, Korea, Labor, Land, Land Art, Language, Lhasa, literature, Locality, Madagascar, Malaysia, Manananggal, mapping, Memory, Mexico, Migrant Workers, Migration, Miniature Painting, Minimalism, mixed media, mixed-media, Model Opera, modern art, mourning, Moving Image, multi-media art, multimedia, multimedia art, Murals, Museum studies, Museums, Music, Myanmar, mythology, nationalism, Nations, New Media Art, New York City, North Africa, oil, oil painting, painting, paintings, Pakistan, Pakistani, participatory, Pedagogy, people, Perennial exhibition, Performance, performance art, Philippines, photographs, Photography, Pop Culture, Pop Music, Preservation, print, prints, Propaganda, Protest, Public Space, Publication, Publishing, Realism, Revolution, Saudi Arabia, Sci-Fi, Science, Sculpture, Secrets, Shamanism, Singapore, Small Press, Socialist Realism, socially engaged art, Sonic Art, sound, Sound Art, South Asia, South East Asia, south korea, Southeast Asia, Sri Lanka, structural film, Surveillance, System, Taiwan, technology, Television, text, Thailand, the Middle East, The Philippines, Theater, Tibet, Time-Based Media, Tomato Grey, Tradition, trama, Tunisia, United States, united states of america, Unity, USA, Vampires, Video Art, Video Game, Vietnam, Violence, Virtual Reality, visual arts, visual culture, VR, War, Water Rights, watercolor, watercolour painting, woman artist, women, women artist, women artists, woodcuts, writing, Zhejiang Academy, Zine

ARTISTS, CRITICS, CURATORS, AND OTHER CONTRIBUTORS

Aisha Khalid, Aki Onda, Alexander Keefe, Alexandra Chang, Alexandra Munroe, Alf Chang, Amy Lien, Amy WOOD, Annysa Ng, Anthony Yung, Arin Rungjang, Ashley Billingsley, Ashok Sukumaran, Bani Abadi, Bani Abidi, Barbara London, Benjamin Moskowitz, Beth Citron, Betsy Damon, Bing Lee, Birgit DONKER, Boon Hui Tan, Boris Groys, Brinda Kumar, Cai Guoqiang, CAMP, Cao Fei, Casey Tang, Chang Chao Tang, Chen Chieh-jen, Chen Tong, Chen Wei-ching, Chen Xiaomei, Chihoi, Chitra Ganesh, Christoph NOE, Christopher K. Ho, Christopher Phillips, Chương-Đài Võ, Cici Wu, Cooperativa Cráter Invertido, Cosmin Costinas, David Smith, Desire Machine Collective, Dinh Q Le, Dooeun Choi, DREAMER FTY, Ei Arakawa, Eleanor Heartney, Enzo Camacho, EPOXY Art Group, Erin Gleeson, Eugene Wang, Fang Lu, Farah Wardani, Fei Dawei, FENG Yuan(馮原), Frédéric Dialynas Sanchez, fwf, Gao Shiming, Gianni Jetzer, Glenn Phillips, Go Hirasawa, Hajra Waheed, Hammad Nasar, Heman Chong, Herb Tam, Hiroko Tasaka, Hitomi Iwasaki, Ho Tzu Nyen, Howie Chen, Hsu Chia-Wei, Huang Chien-Hung, Huang Hua-Chen, HUANG Xiaopeng, I-Hua Lee, Il Lee, Ingrid Chu, Jaeyong Park, Jane DeBevoise, Jean-Hubert Martin, Jen Liu, Jennifer Davis, Jewyo Rhii, Joan Lebold Cohen, Joanne, John Pirozzi, José Maceda, Julian Ross, Jun Yang, June Yap, Kaho Albert Yu, Katherine Grube, Kim Yong-Ik, Kimia Maleki, Kit Yi Wong, Koki Tanaka, Korakrit Arunanondchai, Laurel Ptak, Lê Thuận Uyên, Lee Kit, Lee Mingwei, Lee Weng Choy, Lesley Ma, Levi Easterbrooks, Li Ming, Li Ran, Li Xiaofei, Liang Jianhua, Lin Yilin, LinDa Saphan, Liu Ding, Liu Shiyuan, Lynn Gumpert, Lyno Vuth, Maline Yim, Mao Chenyu, MAP Office, Margaret Lee, Margo Machida, Mariam Ghani, Marvin Taylor, Meghan Forbes, Meiya Cheng, Mel Bochner, Michelle Wong, Michelle Yun, Midori Yoshimoto, Ming Fay, Minoru Yoshida, Miwako Tezuka, Moe Satt, Murtaza Vali, Museum of Unknown, Nadim Abbas, Naeem Mohaiemen, Nate Hun, Nico Baumbach, Nikhil Raunak, Nonny de la Peña, Nora Taylor, nos:books, Ocean Leung, Onejoon Che, Pad.ma, Pak Sheung Chuen, Pan An-yi, Park Chankyong, Passenger Pigeon Press, Patty Chang, Pi Li, Polit-Sheer-Form Office, Prem Krishnamurthy, Qiu Anxiong, Qiu Deshu, Qiu Zhijie, Rabbya Naseer, Rania Ho, Raqs Media Collective, Reiko Tomii, Richard Vine, Rina Banerjee, Risha Lee, Roslisham Ismail a.k.a. Ise, Ruijun Shen, Ryan Lee Wong, Saadia Toor, Sabih Mohd Ahmed, Sam Hart, Samita Sinha, Samsom Young, Samson Young, Sareth Svay, Sean Anderson, Sen Uesaki, Shaina Anand, Shanta Rao, Sharmini Pereira, Shen Xin, Shiraga Kazuo, Shuddhabrata Sengupta, Simon Wu, Sming Sming Books, Sohl Lee, Son Ni, Song Dong, Sopheap Pich, Stephanie Comilang, Stephanie H. Tung, Stephen Teiser, Su Yu-Hsien, Sung Hwan Kim, Sunghee Lee, Tabaimo, Takahiko Iimura, Takako Tanabe, Takeshi Ikeda, Tammy Nguyen, Tang Kwok Hin, Teresa Kwong, The Dunhuang Foundation, The Otolith Group, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Tiffany Chung, Tobias Madison, Trần Minh Đức, Uli Sigg, Umber Majeed, Vivian Sming, Wang Jianwei, Wang Jing, Wang Wei, William LIM, Work on Work, Wu Shanzhuan, Xiaoyu Weng, Xie Xiaoze, Xin Wang, Xu Bing, Xu Tan, YANG Jiechang, Yang Wang, Yin Xiuzhen, Ying Kwok, Yoon Hwan Bae, YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES, Yung MA, Zhang Hongtu, Zhang Peili, Zheng Shengtian, Zhenzhen Qi, Zhou Tao, Zoe Butt