29 September 2016 to 13 November 2016
Thandi Loewenson • Christopher Lutterodt-Quarcoo • Jade Montserrat
How can one create a future, in the present, without the constraints of histories? Better yet, how can we imagine a future that it is not defined by the terms of a dominant narrative now or in the past?
Taking its title from a song on Frank Ocean’s 2016 Blonde album, Futura Free: A Sensing is the second exhibition in our Possible Futures Programme which reappraises the work of the gallery since 1988 to consider how we might move forward. Curated by agency for agency, the exhibition features work by four emerging artists Thandi Loewenson, Christopher Lutterodt-Quarcoo, Jade Montserrat and Emily Mulenga. Ocean’s lyrics present an allegory of defiance. A personal ode to a self defined possible future. The work in this exhibition reflects a similar desire by the artists to resist the given order of things with actions and propositions to define their selves and their worlds.
Emily Mulenga places herself centre stage in her digital creations. Inspired by gaming culture and on-line conversations about beauty and the black female body, Mulenga advocates for a type of resistance, which can be enacted on a daily basis. Jade Montserrat's The Rainbow Tribe: An Affectionate Movement, videos and photographs are inspired by Josephine Baker’s adopted family and lifestyle as a way to rethink ‘utopia’ as created in learning, nature and culture from a historical fictional perspective.
Christopher Lutterodt-Quarcoo's grio(r)/(t) is an audio film installation, that introduces the role of the griot in a technological future to unearth lost and disregarded accounts in history objects and spaces, questioning the practice of audio extraction to raise resistance in the debate between “fact” and “truth”. Thandi Loewenson's Spooky Action at a Distance brings her research from one city space of urban speculation, Lusaka, Zambia to Brixton, London, Loewenson, will create an evolving drawing that explores the ‘the city’ as a site of wastes, which paradoxically, through resourceful waste management hints at a possible future which may emerge, and in doing so reject, the harmful cycles of extraction.
Although the title of this exhibition is inspired by the Ocean song, it must also be mentioned that Futura is a popular font, designed in the 1920’s by Paul Renner. The intent behind its design was to reflect the creation of new models not revive historical ones, as such making a proposition for designs that project forward thinking.
This exhibition begins to explore possible futures as they are imagined by the four artists in relation to the past and the present. The subtle sensing of each artists project is an attempt at a kind of making sense of things, which is tied to their historical, social and political positions in the world. A world where their presence in the present is determined by colonial legacies, migrations, distant connections, spatial negotiations, expressions of belonging and the defining of place. Bringing with them the knowledges contained in their bodies personal, social and historic experiences Lowenson, Lutterodt-Quarcoo, Montserrat and Mulenga, are working through imagined futures using the tools of the present to reflect or contrast supposed grander narratives.
29th September 6:30p - 9pm
In Conversation with artists Jade Montserrat and Emily Mulenga:
Gender Resistance in Utopia or How to consider yourself today for a future you
30th September 6:30pm - 8pm
Please check our website for information on other related events.
Possible Futures is supported by Arts Council England