Revisiting Genesis takes the form of a web-series in twelve episodes and a feature length experimental film. Written and directed by Oreet Ashery. Revisiting Genesis mixes fictional dialogues and real life interviews with people who have life limiting conditions. The work explores digital and emerging technologies of dying, social networks, care and feminist reincarnations of women artists.
Revisiting Genesis follows two nurses, both named Jackie, who assist people actively preparing for death to create biographical slideshows. The slideshows are used as a tool and a trigger for reflection on cultural and social loss and memory as identity. When a group of friends request this treatment for Genesis – an artist who is dying or withdrawing – Nurse Jackie attempts to activate Genesis’ memory through the making of her slideshow. Genesis’s slideshow includes images of costumes for dancers made in the late 1980s at Charles Keene College, Leicester, the small college has been demolished and the site is now part of a multi campus university, one of the largest in the UK, also in the slideshow are images from a Marks & Spenser Cake Factory at Swindon that no longer exist.
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, she press 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 intellectual assets such as blog, social networks and websites. 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, nurse Jackie 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.
Developed in consultation with Medical and Death Online experts, and produced with a range of artistic collaborators, Revisiting Genesis responds to diverse influences spanning from feminist art practice to outsider and minority politics, as well as the emergent online death industry.
Exhibition and screening history
Revisiting Genesis, solo exhibition, Tyneside Cinema October – December, 2016
Revisiting Genesis single screen, Deptfort Cinema, with a Q&A, July 2016, White Building, LADA screens, in conversation with David Falkner, May 2016, Home Manchester Artist Weekender with a Q&A, September 2016, UnionDocs NY, May 2017 with a Q&A
Revisiting Genesis, solo exhibition, Stanley Picker Gallery, April – June, 2016
Revisiting Genesis, 12 episodes web series hosted on revisitinggenesis.net, Vimeo, Utube, Ibraaz Channel, AQNB Web and LADA Screens
Oreet Ashery, Revisiting Genesis in process, fig-2, ICA, London, August 2015
Oreet Ashery bio
Oreet Ashery is a UK based interdisciplinary artist whose socially engaged practice includes exhibitions, performances, videos and writing that explore issues of gender materiality, potential communities and political fiction. Recent presentations include Fig.2 (ICA, London 2015), Animal with a Language (waterside contemporary, London 2014), The World is Flooding (Tate Modern,Turbine Hall, London 2014) and Party for Freedom (Artangel 2013). A current Stanley Picker Fellow in Fine Art at Kingston University and a Visiting Professor at the Royal College of Art Painting department 2013-15.
Revisiting Genesis is commissioned by the Stanley Picker Fellowships, Kingston University and supported by a Wellcome Trust Arts Award, public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, Tyneside Cinema, Goldsmiths University of London and waterside contemporary.