In this series, I’m starting to look at alternative narratives and image worlds that seek to counter 21st-century economic conditions… and how art strategies can provide a way in, a place to start.
The subject of temporality is of particular interest and concepts of what a Future Past could be.
Theo Reeves-Evison describes in his essay Surface Fictions an artifact and popular attraction at South Londons Horniman Museum. A walrus that was taxidermied without any image reference or personal experience or sighting by a nineteenth-century taxidermist. The taxidermist completely filled out the skin, not aware of the great folds and wrinkles that we all know now that walruses have. The resulting walrus is humorously bloated, a giant bulbous shape. The exploration of how the exterior communicates its interior, which posits the object as fiction, the essay expands into an exploration of the seam between the interior and exterior, and discusses the walrus as an object aligned with Fredric Jameson’s proposed postmodern ‘depthlessness’ and Deleuze’s argument and vocabulary of interiority, exteriority, falsehood and mimesis to redefine the concept of simulacrum.
Taking this essay as a starting point, I’m creating lines and crevices which map potential multiple imagined futures. Looking at a wide scope of artists that are working in this area has been invaluable in particular around what seems to be a common connection – the concept that the future begins by making an image.
Objects found in the incomprehensible deep future, blackened and corroded by geological time, carefully reconstructed by unknown future sentient beings… propose fictions of our current moment, divined from our image world today.