And suddenly everything changed: Although we were not blind to recent events and we followed the news on the virus we were blind to the pandemic that unfolded itself in front of us. Even in February we asked ourselves when looking at the design for the exhibition with some distance: What were the things we were blind to when making this?
What story will be told in the future about this year? Only six weeks ago we thought we knew that we didn’t know, now we think we do. And do we want to return to the world we were told to isolate from, or will there be something different, soon? Let’s, for now, listen. The world suddenly talks about care, education, vital jobs, global design for local production, with the borders back in full function, less violence and crime and ‘masks for all’. We suddenly don’t need new things every day. Where will we go from here? Question our exhibition, question the artefacts on display.
We have tried to run The Future Has a Past exhibition project mostly with an attitude of feed-forward the COVID-19 pandemic puts us in the situation that we also have to look back to be able to jump forward again. Perhaps this strange time is an opportunity to review what we have done in the past months as part of the process of making the exhibition.
Three subjects stand out:
- the foreseeable coming of rapid changes in the world vs. the unexpected and shrouded pandemic
- the relationship between folklore and avant-garde in creating art in a heritage setting
- the different politics of economy and ecology
Yet we say:‘Art as a “way” is not yet about an object, about a form, or a content. It is still on its way’.
Just to give a little more information on the making the exhibition THE FUTURE HAS A PAST I share with you these pictures and text.
THE FUTURE HAS A PAST is developing through a series of workshops, on different sites connected to different histories, often being presented as a diner or lunch. We actually bring objects from the museum to the sites and in the workshops and the preparation being done on site, in regions, in archives and meetings with curators we translate our ideas by using mapping, performing and certainly documenting our finding. And in each workshop we try to model the future along the ideas and objects presented. We think of new technologies but all of these ideas in the end come down to the desire to share with others in a less stressful way as compared to how they are currently experienced. In general we conclude that there is a desire to bring back the social to the centre of attention in the future desired. It seems both capitalism and environmental concerns disturb our thoughts in how to think about the future. As said in one of the workshops: “the future is now, and that was not supposed to happen”.
THE FUTURE HAS A PAST will be inspired by the future modelling we did in the past months and therefore the design reflects the idea of a future cinema without a screen, a supermarket of the soul and the ever ongoing story of migration. This art work is becoming a project that ‘acts as a bridge toward new processes, new pathways’. And ‘to speak of a “way” is to dwell on the process itself, on its manner of becoming’ (The Minor Gesture, Erin Manning, p47). ‘Art as a “way” is not yet about an object, about a form, or a content. It is still on its way’.
Please enjoy the pictures while we work towards next steps in the process of making THE FUTURE HAS A PAST.