Revisiting Genesis

Oreet Ashery @ Deptford Cinema, Jul 7

5 July 2016

Oreet Ashery will present a screening of online series, ‘Revisiting Genesis‘ followed by a Q&A at Deptford Cinema on July 7.

The London-based artist has written and directed the twelve-part video series that launched April 13 and last month came to an end with final episode, ‘Prayer/ Aerialist’. The narrative, which incorporates music, interviews that lie somewhere between the scripted and the real, along with various recurring characters has unfolded over the weeks. It explores issues around withdrawal, digital dying, afterlife and the ephemeral legacy of some artists in relation to a more physical and traditional form of remembrance.

For the Q&A, Ashery will be joined by researcher and artist Vanda Playford who plays Nurse Jackie in the series, and artist Martin O’Brien, who plays the character Bambi in a plot line that runs parallel to that of Genesis, the work’s protagonist and “an artist who is dying symbolically and otherwise”.

Also being screened on the evening is a film by David Louton called ‘Echo Chambers’ (2016).

See the Deptford Cinema website for more details.**

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Introducing Oreet Ashery’s Revisiting Genesis

29 April 2016

Commissioned by Kingston upon Thames’ Stanley Picker Gallery, Oreet Ashery‘s Revisiting Genesis takes the form of a web series in 12 episodes, released weekly from April 13. Written and directed by the artist, the video work explores the philosophical, sociopolitical, practical and emotional implications of withdrawal, digital afterlives and legacy, dying, social networks and reincarnations of women artists.

The online narrative, which begins with the first two episodes —‘The Slideshow, The Phone Call’, ‘DuckDuckGo Friendship’ —hosted by aqnb below, unfolds with every new episode. Revisiting Genesis follows two nurses, both named ‘Jackie’, who assist people preparing for death to create biographical slideshows serving as their posthumous digital legacy. The presentations become a tool for reflection on cultural and social loss, friendships, and memory as identity.

When a group of friends request this treatment for Genesis —an artist who is dying symbolically and otherwise —Nurse Jackie attempts to activate Genesis’ memory through the making of her slideshow, which draws from elements of Ashery’s own autobiography and explores the disappearance of social and educational structures under contemporary neoliberalism. Jackie concludes that it might not be Genesis who is vanishing, but the systems she had relied on. Presented in parallel with Genesis’ story, the 12 episodes are intercut with improvised interviews between individuals with life-limiting conditions and Nurse Jackie, played here by a practising GP.

A parallel story follows a patient called Bambi, played by artist Martin O’Brien, who has cystic fibrosis. Nurse Jackie introduces Bambi to the emerging ‘death online’ industries, and presses him to decide who will be his ‘digital legacy contact’ after he dies, and encourages him to write a ‘digital will’ that deals with his assets, which are intellectual rather than material. Jackie is particularly keen for Bambi to consider joining avatar research like LifeNaut’s Bina 48, or to explore the application of Augmented Reality in gravesites.

In one episode, the nurse discovers a bronze head by Gordine in Genesis’ possession. The nurse suggests that Genesis is a reincarnation of Gordine, as well as Amy Winehouse, and that her disappearance is due to an incomplete reincarnation cycle. This unravels Genesis’ feelings about being a semi-visible woman in the art world.

See the Revisiting Genesis website to follow the full series.**

Oreet Ashery’s Revisiting Genesis 12-part web-series, commissioned by London’s Stanley Picker Gallery, is running online from April 13 to July 29, 2016.

Header image: Oreet Ashery, Revisiting Genesis:’Banner Friend (George Hard) Over 50′ (2016). Video still. Courtesy the artist + Stanley Picker, London.


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Oreet Ashery @ fig-2, Aug 10

10 August 2015

Oreet Ashery launches her latest exhibition at fig-2 at the ICA Studio with performances by Anoxide and New Noveta on August 10.

Creating a two-stage exhibition, Ashery has invited the respective Death Metal band and performance duo to realise a “colliding performance” to take place on opening night, followed by an installation by the Israeli artist “instigating the embedded condition of death in the everyday and highlighting its presence”.

Ashery will transform the space into an all-white environment exhibiting two bronze busts by modernist sculptor Dora Gordine, a photograph of Amy Winehouse and producer Mark Ronson, and an excerpt from Alfred Hitchcock Presents. The installation exists as a kind of preparation and two-day casting session for the Spring 2016 launch of Ashery’s project, Revisiting Genesis—a web series looking at the “processes of dying, digital afterlife and legacy, outsider communities, friendships and reincarnations of women artists”.

See the fig-2 website for details. **

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