Press Release

The Otolith Group. O Horizon

  • From June 23 to October 2, 2022
  • Curated by Manuel Cirauqui
  • Film & Video Gallery (103)

From June 23 to October 2, 2022, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is presenting The Otolith Group: O Horizon, the second exhibition of the year in the Film & Video Gallery, a dedicated space at the Museum where are presented key works of video art, film-based installation, and moving images understood as an artistic language.

Presented this time is an ambitious project by The Otolith Group, an artist collective founded by Anjalika Sagar (London, 1968) and Kodwo Eshun (London, 1966) and known for their influential approaches of such crucial topics as the Anthropocene, the aesthetics of Afro-futurism, and the decolonial articulation of critical theory. Producing films, texts, audio works, essays, and installations as well as curatorial projects, The Otolith Group’s practice is considered an essential touchstone for contemporary art and the recent development of the film essay globally. The video installation O Horizon is a major work depicting the Visva Bharati school in Santiniketan (West Bengal, India), founded by the writer, educator, social reformist, and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore in 1921.The work encourages us to reflect on the interaction of nature, culture and agriculture, and the urgent need to heal our planet. Guiding India toward cultural independence and transformation, Tagore also anticipated some of the key issues in our globalized world today: the risks associated to climate change, the threat of nationalist and religious extremism and the importance of intergenerational transmission.

Situated at the center of the exhibition, O Horizon elides the terms of documentary at its most lyrical, discursive and operatic. The camera guides us through dances, rehearsals, and rituals; indoor and outdoor classes; microphones record the mystical songs of Kabir, epic poetry; conversations and plays; lenses capture animal gazes and vegetal depths in silence. Poetic recitation and performance alternate with observations of the flora, scholarly dialogues, and panoramic perspectives. Murals and public sculptures, emblems and allegories of Santiniketan’s aesthetic modernity, are observed in detail, while digital screens and mobile phone apps reappear as props, gadgets and companions in the daily routines and stylized rituals of campus life.



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