To consider a better Anthropocene requires a quantum leap in imagination. Xenophon is an alter-imaginary, an ecofeminist Utopia and a place of otherness, that decenters the Anthropos (man) and it’s presumed centre stage in this epoch and reinstates the other (Xeno). Through stories told through histories, mythologies, science fictions, science fact, situated narratives and entanglements with others, a better epoch is conjured. Activating strange and inverted scenarios that conjure other ways of being in the world- including fundamental changes in human-environment relationships, values, cultures, power and gender relations. The world unfolds with each question-driven, narrative-based exhibition, as the Xenothorpians mutate with living and non-living entities to adapt to the Anthropocene. Their hybridisations provide a backdrop from which new stories emerge- a tongue-in-cheek approach to parodying the problem of humans.
The stories that build Xenophon are integral to this world building practice. To gather stories McGibbon locates herself in a conjuncture of events, laboratories, ideas, things, people, collaborations, plants, animals, cells and technologies. McGibbon collaborates with practitioners in diverging fields to build the world narrative. Collaborative enquires include; a five-year creative collaboration with writer Maeve O’Lynn, creating as McGibbon O'Lynn and collaborating with scientists and biomedical researchers to imagine the origin of species. To draw awareness to our kinships McGibbon draws on the hyper-connected, multi-species thinking practices of Rosi Baradotti, Vinciane Despret, Donna Haraway and Anna Tsing.
Integral to this enquiry is the question of what happens when one decentres the human? How does this shift in focus bring other perspectives into view and what new modes of research, collaboration, creative production and affective quality become possible as a result? What other worlds can we world?