AboutA 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 June 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 June 2009 and will present Otolith III (2009), the final film in The Otolith trilogy.