Since moving into the Royal Standard I’ve been working on a new body of work, venturing from print into the realms of scuplture and sound recording/installation. The work explores why we might want to imagine the future, and how any attempt to do this is ultimately doomed to failure. You can see the fruits of my labour in the Royal Standard Project Space from 8th to the 11th of July, 12 til 6pm.
There’ll be a preview on the 7th of July from 6 til 8pm.
Map to The Royal Standard here
Press release here
In ‘Farewell to Yesterday’s Tomorrow’ I show a selection of work created after recently joining the Royal Standard as a studio member. This new work continues my investigations into the historical concept of ‘the future’ and what purpose our speculation into the future serves.
Several of the sculptural works address the transient nature of narratives of the future, looking at how the history of science fiction can be viewed as a series of failed attempts at imagining a future which, by its very nature, is unknowable. In this new work, this failure and transience is explored through building basic units of futuristic imagining, alien landscapes and rockets, using no allusion to permanence. Materials used retain a fragility, foil, paper, cardboard, are held together with string, or pins, or gravity, and although these objects ‘fly,’ there is no pretence to actual flight, objects are elevated or hung. Like science fictions of the future, we’re forced to employ our imagination to realise something which will only exist fleetingly in our minds, and perhaps give us the opportunity to momentarily view our own cluttered present with fresh eyes. Indeed, Frederic Jameson, in his 2007 book, ‘Archaeologies of the Future’ suggests just this, that under late capitalism history has become compartmentalised, now merely a series of events, that can be packaged and summed up neatly to provide us with evidence of progress and allow us to maintain the potential of upwards mobility. For Jameson, the popularity of future narratives lies in their ability to give us a window into the present which, in the absence of a useful historical basis, has become too indigestible and infinitely complex for us to understand.
I’ve further explored this sense of seeing history as something conveniently packaged by using sound recordings taken in various galleries around the U.K. Galleries are monuments to our organisational skills, places where we try to reconstruct and make sense of past events, which again, like our science fictions, are ultimately unknowable. The sound recordings take us to places which we know are imbued with a rich sense of history, but at the same time do not allow us to view its nuances.
All of the work in ‘Farewell to Yesterday’s Tomorrows’ highlights our inability to venture neither forward or backwards, but hopefully brings us resolutely back to the present, which is all we really have.