Faced with the consequences of a past whose teachings we struggle to assimilate, and a looming fate which threatens to overwhelm us, we are collectively stuck in the rut of a present haunted with the paradoxical images of futureless prospects.
Antefuture, however, formulates the hypothesis that other scenarios are possible. Indeed, future is not only the sum of the events that may or may not come to be – it lies, in truth, at the heart of “now” as the representation we make of ourselves. Since the dawn of time, art itself has been a crucible for representations of the future, influencing and transforming our own expectations.
To the dark visions that have grown out of a seemingly unavoidable catastrophe, many contemporary artists oppose diversionary scenarios and parallel worlds, fusing past and present, hybridising traditional and cutting-edge materials, rethinking our biological bodies in relation to technological avatars… By taking these impending changes seriously, they have, in crisis, found cause for opportunity. Working across a wide range of mediums – from the most traditional to the most advanced –, and through a variety of echoing or divergent approaches, the artists gathered for this exhibition cast a keenly critical eye on ecosystems that owe their existence to sociologically and ecologically impactful mechanisms – the systematic development of cutting-edge technology and rampant globalisation of market economy.
The artists demonstrate that civilisational change, that we for now merely endure, demands of us a matching change in outlook, maybe even a paradigm shift, to rethink the way we relate to community, commonality, and every living thing. To do so, they have created phantasmagorical worlds as an alternative to the overbearing of accepted reality, inviting us to transfigure our connection to the world.
The inclusion in the title of the prefix ante serves to highlight the sense of ambivalence that pervades the exhibition. Etymologically, ante comes from the Latin word for before; before the future comes this present with which we struggle so much to think, and even to live. However, ante also relates back to the Greek anti, meaning against – for we also struggle against an alienating vision of the future that could ultimately turn totalitarian.
The exhibition presents us with a subjective, necessarily biased view of the historical crossroads we are standing at. In turns angst-inducing, melancholy, humorous, belligerent or hopeful, the presented works cannot be mined for unequivocal, definitive solutions. However, from this kaleidoscope of viewpoints, feelings and speculative fictions, a complex, fluid reality eventually coalesces – that of our present.
to know more about the exhibition: antéfutur, capc – musée d’art contemporain de bordeaux, bordeaux