This friction between the past, the present and the undreamed-of is the starting point for the exhibition. In the works shown documentary, science, fantasy and (science)fiction rub elbows or even flow into one another. Works by Neil Beloufa, Mark Aerial Waller, Johannes Helden, Ann Lislegaard, Heman Chong and Graham Ellarde & Stephen Johnstone uncover the tension between the future and the past in the present.
Neïl Beloufa (FR), Persijn Broersen & Margit Lukács (NL), Heman Chong (MY), Graham Ellard & Stephen Johnstone (UK), Johannes Heldén (SE), Sebastian Diaz Morales (AR/NL), Ann Lislegaard (NO), r a d i o q ua l i a (NZ), Semiconductor (UK), Mark Aerial Waller (UK)
In Search of the Unknown is situated in a strange place, at an unfamiliar time, in the midst of visions of the future that pursue the present and the nightmare of there being no future at all. In the first exhibition of 2009, at a moment when the financial prospects for the world are most uncertain, the search for the unknown and unimaginable and the friction between past, present and future is central. The science fiction author J.G. Ballard even writes that 'the present has annexed the future'. According to him 'we learn to live thinking that everything happens at the same time.'
This friction between the past, the present and the undreamed-of is the starting point for In Search of the Unknown. In the works shown documentary, science, fantasy and (science)fiction rub elbows or even flow into one another. Works by Neil Beloufa, Mark Aerial Waller, Johannes Heldén, Ann Lislegaard, Heman Chong and Graham Ellarde & Stephen Johnstone uncover the tension between the future and the past in the present. Sebastian Diaz Morales shows images which, as a continuum of the present, could stand as signs of the future – in reaction to Ballard's words above. Persijn Broersen & Margit Lukacs and Semiconductor take 'scientific' research into the still unknowable or inconceivable as their point of departure, and with 'Radio Astronomy' r a d i o q u a l i a lets us hear unfamiliar sounds from the cosmos.
Science fiction functions as one of the artistic instruments for the artists in the exhibition In Search of the Unknown. Science fiction in fact uses the means of the present to sketch a possible future – precisely a process which paradoxically makes that future into the present. At the same time, as a matter of course science fiction stories about the future are overtaken by time and end up in the past (as has happened with Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey).
When astronauts, after their umpteenth mission in space, reenter the earth's ionosphere, edge their way through the endless layers of space debris and set foot on the planet, who still welcomes them? Who is there waiting for them?
Foamlab presents: Johannes Sterk and Elias Tieleman after their return to earth.
Arrival: Friday February 13th at 18:00 h.
List of works:
Neïl Beloufa, Kempinski, 2007, 13'58'' min. Collection NIMk
Persijn Broersen & Margit Lukács, Manifest Destiny, 2009, HD, 17' min.
Made possible by the Netherlands Film Fund and the Rijksakademie.
Heman Chong, Kryptonite, 2008, from the series 'Surfacing', Courtesy of the artist and Vitamin Creative Space
Heman Chong, Until The End Of The World (Paused), 2009
Graham Ellard & Stephen Johnstone, Proposal, for an unmade film (set in the future), 2007, 21' min.
Johannes Heldén, The Prime Directive, 2006, internet piece (Flash), Originally published by Afsnit
Ann Lislegaard, SCIENCE FICTION_3112 (after 2001: A Space Odyssey by Stanley Kubrick), 2007 , 8'30'' min. loop, Courtesy Galerie Paul Andriesse
Sebastian Diaz Morales, Oracle, 2007, 11' min. , Produced by HERMÈS
r a d i o q u a l i a (Adam Hyde & Honor Harger), Radio Astronomy, 2004 - 2009
Semiconductor (Ruth Jarman & Joe Gerhardt), Do You Think Science..., 2006, 12'15'' min.
Semiconductor (Ruth Jarman & Joe Gerhardt), Magnetic Movie, 2007, 4'56'' min.
Mark Aerial Waller, Superpower – Dakar Chapter, 2004, 14' min.
Courtesy of the artist and Rodeo, Istanbul
BeamSystems, the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts and the National Arts Council of Singapore
Persijn Broersen & Margit Lukács, Manifest Destiny, 2009,
Sebastian Diaz Morales, Oracle, 2007
Image: Persijn Broersen & Margit Lukács, Manifest Destiny, 2009
Nederlands Instituut voor Mediakunst
Keizersgracht 26 - Amsterdam
Opening hours: Tuesday - Saturday and the first Sunday of the month (March 1, April 5) from 1300 – 1800.
Entrance 4,50 (2,50 with discount).