The publishing of the first catalogue raisonné on the work of the Otolith Group is timely and comes at a pivotal point in their practice. The work of this London-based artist’s collective comprised of Anjalika Sagar and Kodwo Eshun covers politics of race and diversity and incorporates film making and 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 complexity of the envi-ronmental conditions of life we all face. The title of the publication and the exhibition references the African-American science fiction novelist Octavia Butler’s legendary Xenogenesis trilogy which opens with Dawn (1987), continues with Adulthood Rites (1988) and concludes with Imago (1989). The term Xenogenesisconjoins the Greek prefix xenos meaning strange or alien with the suffix genesis meaning origin or generation. Butler’s neologism informs Eshun and Sagar’s longstanding preoccupation with the promise and threat of the idea of alien becoming. Presenting all bodies of work contained in the exhibition opening at Sharjah Art Foundation, the publication presents materials and graphics from the artists’ broader practice and brings together important thinkers, scholars, art historians and writers from disparate fields including Dr. Denise Ferreira da Silva, Annie Fletcher, Anselm Franke, Shanay Jhaveri, George E. Lewis, Mahan Moalemi, Fred Moten, Grant Watson, Vivian Ziherl and the late Mark Fisher.
Xenogenesis is published by Irish Museum of Modern Art and Archive Books.