Installationshot of the timeline and the film at Spike Island
Selection of stills of 'Wandering through the Future':
Wandering through the Future is commissioned by Sharjah Biennial 8
Theme: STILL Life, Art, Ecology and the politics of change
Location: Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Curated by: Jonathan Watkins, Eva Scharrer, Mohammed Kazem
Period: 4 April - 4 June 2007
Participating artists Sharjah Biennial 8:
Ignasi Aballi; Lida Abdul; Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla; Lara Almarcegui; El Anatsui; Roy Arden; Vladimir Arkhipov; Mireille Astore; Lara Baladi; Noor Al-Bastaki; Taysir Batniji; Marjolijn Dijkman; Bright Ugochukwu Eke; Sophie Elbaz; e-Xplo (Rene Gabri, Heimo Lattner, Erin McGonigle ) with Ayreen Anastas; Touhami Ennadre; Mounir Fatmi; Peter Fend; Franz Gertsch; Abdulnasser Gharem; Simryn Gill; Tue Greenfort; Group Tuesday (Fadi Abdallah, Bilal Khbeiz, Walid Sadek); Graham Gussin; Khaled Hafez; Henrik Håkansson; Anawana Haloba; Ilana Halperin; Mona Hatoum; Susan Hefuna; Uschi Huber; Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim; Alfredo Jaar; Gulnara Kasmalieva and Muratbek Djumaliev; Marya Kazoun; Amal Kenawy; Leopold Kessler; Suchan Kinoshita; Joachim Koester; Christina Kubisch; Deborah Ligorio; Claudia Losi; Lutz & Guggisberg; Tea Mäkipää; Hassan Meer; Gustav Metzger; MindBomb; Abdul Rahman Al Ma'aini; Maha Mustafa; Jesus Bubu Negron; Jacques Nimki; OMA/ Rem Koolhaas & Reinier de Graaf; Cornelia Parker; Pablo Patrucco; Dan Perjovschi; Dan Peterman; Marjetica Potrc; Michael Rakowitz; Ibrahim Rashid; Noguchi Rika; Budoor Al Riyami; Raeda Saadeh; Abdallah Alsaadi; Huda Saeed Saif; Michael Sailstorfer; Tomas Saraceno; Joe Scanlan; Zineb Sedira; Anas Al-Shaikh; Ranjani Shettar; SOI Project; Samir Srouji; Simon Starling; Gerda Steiner & Jörg Lenzlinger; Rirkrit Tiravanija; Mierle Laderman Ukeles; Sergio Vega; Luca Vitone; Shatha Al-Wadi; Camille Zakharia; Ahmed Mater Al-Ziad.
Wandering through the Future reinserted science fiction films into a public sphere from which they are normally banned. Clips from seventy movies were compiled into a sixty minute video, and screened in a shed modeled on the fortunetellers’ tents found in Sharjah souks. The compilation took viewers on a journey through popular cinema’s reservoir of scenarios for the future, ordered chronologically according to the date in which they are set, from 2008 until 802.701 AD.
An accompanying graphic timeline charted how far into the future the various films take us. The timeline made apparent that only very few science fiction films, produced in the optimism of the late 1960s and 70s, project their visions into a very distant future, and imagine a future reality that is desirable. But recent films all present apocalyptic scenarios, set in times that are increasingly near. They envision ecological and biological catastrophes, alien invasions, but most of all technological meltdown.
While the billboards that visualize the ambitious horizon of a future Dubai aim to convey faith in boundless economic growth and technological might, they thus actually take their inspiration from a cinematic imagination that already harbours the nightmare of collapse. Using visual references such as the code of the Matrix – which in the 1999 film signified an illusory dream world conjured up by an inhumane system – to promote a property project, seems paradoxical at least. With the same conviction as the real estate public relations machine, the blockbuster taglines announce reverse scenarios: ‘The future could be history’, ‘The biggest disaster in history is about to arrive’, ‘Plan Your Escape’.
The taglines of the 'Timeline of the Future' were also screened on the huge LED screen at the entrance of the main venue of the Biennial
Download Timeline of the Future (English)
Download Timeline of the Future (Arabic)
Download Text by Sabine Hillen ' Wandering through the Future'
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