Anjalika Sagar and Kodwo Eshun, 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.
The Group have exhibited, installed and screened their works nationally and internationally, they are commissioned to develop and exhibit their art works, their research, installations, and publications by a wide range of museums, public and private galleries, biennials, foundations and other bodies.
This work acts as a resource that is documented on this website and supports The Otolith Group’s public platform in its function in the UK under the name of The Otolith Collective.
The Otolith Collective is curated and directed by Kodwo Eshun and Anjalika Sagar. It coexists by curating, programming, publishing and supporting the presentation of artists work, contributing to a critical field of exploration between visual culture and exhibiting in contemporary art. They have curated and co-curated programmes and exhibitions including, A Cinema of Songs and People: The Films of Anand Patwardhan at the Tate Modern, The Inner Time of Television ( a collaboration with Chris Marker ), The Journey, by Peter Watkins at the Tate Modern, On Vanishing Land by Mark Fisher and Justin Barton, The Militant Image (ongoing) , the touring exhibition The Ghosts of Songs: A Retrospective of The Black Audio Film Collective 1982-1998, Harun Farocki. 22 Films: 1968-2009 at Tate Modern and the touring programme Protest conceived as part of the Essentials: The Secret Masterpieces of Cinema commissioned by the Independent Cinema Office.
In 2010 The Otolith Group were nominated for the Turner Prize.
The Third Part of the Third Measure
From the late 1960s until his death in 1990 at the age of 50, Julius Eastman, the queer African-American avant-garde composer, pianist, vocalist and conductor, wrote and performed compositions whose ecstatic militant minimalism initiated a black radical aesthetic that revolutionised the East Coast’s new music scene of the 1970s and 1980s. No recordings of Eastman’s compositions were released during his lifetime.
In January 1980, Julius Eastman was invited by the Music Department at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois to present his compositions Crazy Nigger (1978), Evil Nigger (1979) and Gay Guerrilla (1979) at the PickStaiger Concert Hall. A number of African-American students and one faculty member at Northwestern University objected to the titles of Eastman’s compositions. The titles of Eastman’s compositions were redacted from the concert programme printed by the Music Department.
Before the concert on 16 January 1980, Eastman delivered a public statement that responded to these objections. The speeches delivered by Dante Micheaux and Elaine Mitchener in The Third Part is the Third Measure (2017) are based on each performer’s modified versions of the verbatim transcriptions of Eastman’s Northwestern University statement.