Screening: The Otolith Group: HYDRA DECAPITA

30 August 2018, 19:00–20:00

Still image from The Otolith Group, Hydra Decapita, UK, 2010, 31 minutes, Colour, Stereo Courtesy of LUX and the artists

As part of the exhibition And Tomorrow And Index is presenting a series of film screenings that expand from the idea of futures, both fictional and fabulated. This film essay by London based artists Anjalika Sagar and Kodwo Eshun, who together from The Otolith Group, shares a potent vision of a subaquatic country.

The video work is the first installment in a trilogy of film essays that use the imaginary world in the concept albums of Detroit-based techno duo Drexciya. From 1993 to 2002, the Detroit based electronic music duo Drexciya released an influential series of recordings that imagined a fictional world system entitled Drexciya, populated by the subaquatic descendants of Africans drowned by slavers during the Middle Passage. ‘Drexciya’ is an underwater country populated by the unborn children of pregnant women thrown overboard during the middle-passage of slave ships across the Atlantic. In this world a new species has evolved through the children who survived, breathing and living underwater as they did in the womb. The constellation of historical and present day episodes within the essay explores the relationship between finance, death, abstraction and language. The fabulation of Drexciya provides the point of departure for Hydra Decapita, the new work by The Otolith Group that summons a series of spectres of capital in order to convene a seance that immerses audiences within an affective evocation of contemporary economic abstraction.

The Otolith Group
The Otolith Group was founded in 2002 and consists of Anjalika Sagar and Kodwo Eshun who live and work in London. During their longstanding collaboration The Group have drawn from a wide range of resources and materials. They explore the moving image, the archive, the sonic and the aural within the gallery context. The work is research based and in particular has focused on the essay film as a form that seeks to look at conditions, events and histories in their most expanded form. In 2010 The Otolith Group were nominated for the Turner Prize.