TO THE FUTURE AND BACK
Commissaires / Curators : Bisi Silva & Yves Chatap
To the Future and Back opens new pathways for imagining the future and beyond. The aesthetic explorations of the artists in this exhibition find resonance in their ability to transfigure certain contemporary problems. The artists have imagined fictions that challenge notions of terri- tory and question the possibilities of identity, prompting viewers to reconsider their vision of the future.
The Kenyan artist Wanuri Kahiu’s film Pumzi (2009) is a 20-minute sci-fi project about a futuristic Africa. It takes place 35 years in the future—following “World War III”, an imagined catastrophic event also known as “The Water War”, due to its devastating impact on natural resources. Camille Turner’s videos The Final Frontier and Aliens in Toronto (2007) stem from a series of performances in which the artist questions the absence of black subjectivity in official origin narratives and histories of Canada. Inspired by both the extra- terrestrial origins of Dogon legends and Science Fiction’s racialized iconography of “otherness,” Turner’s projects reexamine the historical presence of black bodies in Canada from personal and political perspectives.
Jim Chuchu’s Pagan (2014), a series of formally composed photographs, imagines the black body enthralled by spiritual entities and celestial energies, offering a visual narrative in which the bodily form evolves as it moves through galaxies and becomes one with the cosmos. The body emerges as focal point in the work of the Belgian-Beninese artist Fabrice Monteiro who melds techniques of fashion photography and photojournalism with the visual aesthetics of West African cultural traditions and cosmologies. Informed by science and spiritual sensibilities, Monteiro’s Prophecy (2015) series derives inspiration from the accumulative aesthetics of West African masquer- ades, depicting human figures negotiating the effects of climate change and environmental degradation.