Future Tense – Living the future now

How are artists contemplating the future in this present moment? Society turns to art and culture in turbulent times, seeking an oracle to allay fear and anxiety. In the coming age, faced with concerns for our continued existence, what stories are artists telling? 

Future Tense is an open ended conversational, visual environment, composed of still and moving imagery. Viewed through a multifaceted lens of different life experiences, the exhibition features artists from diverse cultures & backgrounds. Future Tense engages audiences in a space of frequencies that collectively communicate different channels of contemplation, considering new understandings of time, but also how image surface can be interpreted as communal space to be questioned and dissected.  

Working with still photography, cinematography, documentary, mise-en-scene, & collage, artists consider topics including: how mining the past can create a more dynamic future, and the ways gender identity provides a space of improvisation which can generate new understandings. 

Is there a nostalgia for ‘future past’? The last century held an implied promise that advancements would improve quality of life. A belief that humanity would reach new levels through space travel and scientific exploration, creating a new utopia. 

But ‘Future past’ wasn’t designed for everyone. Poverty, hunger, & safe housing still plague those who don’t live in the right neighbourhoods, are born with different skin colour and belief systems. Colonialism still operates, and prejudice continues separating people from opportunity, even in the most prosperous countries. 

As we emerge from a global pandemic, faced with urgent issues of climate devastation and a potential new World War, our sense of what futurity means is an overwhelming conundrum. If ‘future past’ was focused on ingenuity and exploration, perhaps ‘future present’ will look to our collective histories to build a society that offers more than what has been possible up until now.  

Participant