IMMA Launch Major New Exhibition

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media, Catherine Martin, TD, pictured with Annie Fletcher, Director, IMMA, and artists Kodwo Eshun and Anjalika Sagar from The Otolith Group. Courtesy of IMMA

David Prendeville

On July 7th past IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art) launched a new exhibition, The Otolith Group: Xenogenesis, addressing contemporary social and planetary issues and the impact of humans on the earth. The exhibition is fresh off a major international tour, which runs until February 12th 2023. The opening was attended by Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media, Catherine Martin TD.

The Otolith Group is an artist collective, founded in London in 2002 by Anjalika Sagar and Kodwo Eshun. Featuring a cross-section of key works produced by The Otolith Group between 2011 and 2018, the exhibition reflects the artists’ ongoing commitment to creating what they think of as ‘a science fiction of the present’.

Xenogenesis is named after The Xenogenesis Trilogy, Octavia Butler’s title for her science fiction novels. Along with Octavia Butler (1947-2006), other key figures that form a compositional matrix for the exhibition include the composer and musician Julius Eastman (1940–1990) and the polymath and educator Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941).
Curated by Annie Fletcher, Director of IMMA, the exhibition at IMMA is the final stage of a major international collaboration, having originated at the Van Abbemuseum, in the Netherlands, and toured to Buxton Contemporary, Melbourne; Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond; Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge; the Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah; and the Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova, Ljubljana, Slovenia. It is accompanied by a significant new publication, Xenogenesis, a polyphonic exploration of the work of The Otolith Group, published by IMMA and Archive Books.

The Otolith Group, and their longstanding curatorial platform The Otolith Collective, will enact the Department of Xenogenesis (DXG) at IMMA, a time space for convening public online and offline discussions, performance, screenings and exhibitions with artists, filmmakers, theorists and musicians. The DXG builds upon the exhibition and has developed throughout the tour.

Speaking on the occasion of her visit, Minister Martin, said “I am grateful for the opportunity to see this thrilling exhibition and to meet Anjalika and Kodwo, two incredibly exciting contemporary artists. Xenogenesis brings you on a journey through immersive soundscapes and film installations. I was honoured to meet the artists who outlined the universal themes within each work which are relevant to contemporary life, while also giving a distinct sensation of futuristic science fiction. The IMMA exhibition is the final venue of a major international tour that has travelled from Australia to Sharjah to America. I’m delighted visitors to IMMA now have the opportunity to see the work of this important artist collective.”

Annie Fletcher, Director of IMMA, said “We were delighted to have Minister Martin visit Xenogenesis, an extraordinary project in both its exhibition and book form. As the curator it is hugely rewarding to see the exhibition come to fruition at IMMA. This project is a culmination of over four years work with the artists and international partners and I am proud it will now be shown in Ireland. The Otolith Group’s films and installations address the forces and events that have shaped our world while offering inspiring examples and models of how we might collectively imagine a different future.”

More information about the exhibition can be found at: