Each artist in the group exhibition The Future As Disruption has built upon a different facet of a science fiction source – be it imagery, film, or literature – in turn developing works that suggest new theories and myths. In utilizing the various components of these sources—they propose an alternate reality, one superior to our own.
The majority of the works are based on anxieties pertaining to contemporary social and physical predicaments. In A Machine of Perpetual Possibility (2008) Julieta Aranda evokes fears of an impending environmental disaster with shredded sci-fi novels that pulsate within a Plexiglas cube. In her series of black and white photographs, Entropology, Crystal World(2007), Ann Lislegaard visualizes a vivid description found in J.G. Ballard’s book The Crystal World of a crystal matter discovered in Amazonian terrain that threatens to destroy all organic substance with which it comes into contact. Joan Banach, Jonah Freeman, and Olalekan Jeyifous’ projects provide the artists’ daunting vision of future self-contained manmade environments and social systems.
Other works take a literal approach to the exhibition’s concept, as they deconstruct actual sci-fi structures, in turn positioning the viewers in an uneasy stance. In Future Songs (2007), Sean Dack superimposes Philip K. Dick’s Cold War prophecies onto recent pop hits, while inEinstein #1 (2008) Mungo Thomson simply re-samples typical comic book imagery such as laboratories and outer space, yet removes the narratives’ context by extracting the speech balloons. Thus, rather than building upon the aspects of escapism and fantasy inherent to futuristic narratives, these artists delineate an apocalyptic vision in which we are all inevitable participants.
Image: Exhibition announcement; Simone Leigh, Brooch #2 (2008): Courtesy the Kitchen and Simone Leigh.