After the Future
What happens if we quite precisely, quite deliberately give up on the future? Simply refuse the relentless pressure to move forward, develop, improve and consume at lightening speed? The latest deployment of post-industrial capitalism – globalisation, informationalism, flexible accumulation – has brought about significant, sweeping change in all our lives, the extent of which perhaps we are only beginning to come to terms with.
This year’s eva International, curated by Annie Fletcher, Curator of Exhibitions at the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, takes the title After the Future to examine how certain artistic practices provide an active invocation of the present and speculate how we arrived here in the first place. This collaborative and multifaceted project takes as its point of departure the media theorist and activist Franco “Bifo” Berardi’s book After The Future (AK Press, 2011), considering his admonishment of economic futurisms and advocacy for living slowly in the infinite present.
eva International After the Future insists aesthetic practices and artistic thinking have an integral role at the juncture of the present and past, rather than as part of a prophetic future fantasy. The situation in Ireland, while not unique within Europe’s current economic meltdown or within the economic and political changes occurring in the over-developed West, provides an acute location to consider the conditions in which we live from a global and transversal perspective. The economically precarious position this European republic finds itself in foregrounds the urgency of needing to think radically and differently for now.
“This is why the future is over. We are living in a space that is beyond the future. If we come to terms with this post-futuristic condition, we can renounce accumulation and growth and be happy sharing the wealth that comes from past industrial labor and present collective intelligence.” (Franco Berardi (Bifo), The Future After the End of the Economy, e-flux Journal #30, Dec. 2011)
eva International After the Future features a central exhibition curated by Annie Fletcher, selected from over 2000 proposals from 76 countries. This exhibition will inhabit Limerick City Gallery of Art and empty commercial property in the city centre. Alongside this core exhibition are a series of intense collaborations with local, national and international partners:
Luc Deleu’s Construction X, originally created for eva 1994, will be recreated in the same location 18 years later. Marking the connection between the past and present, this iconic work from eva International’s 35 year history consists of 9 shipping containers in an “X” formation and holds a significant place in the memory of the city’s population.
In partnership with Project Arts Centre, Dublin, The Belltable, Limerick and The Israeli Center for Digital Art, Holon, selected curators Pádraic Moore, Megs Morley and Kate Strain will each devise presentations selected with The Video Archive; a resource of The Israeli Center for Digital Art which focuses on media art from the Middle East, Europe, and the Balkans.
Exit Limerick 2012 by Static Gallery Liverpool, invites critics to review the Limerick School of Art & Design fine art degree show, eva International and fringe projects. Exit Limerick examines the politics, complexities and structures of art criticism through written reviews published in the local press and aired in a public forum where reviewers and reviewed come face to face.
Gracelands moves off-site from the Mimetic House, Leitrim to present at The Milk Market, Limerick on Thursday 2 August. This one-day exhibition/festival curated by Vaari Claffey, incorporates performance, sculpture, drawing and film. Entitled Circling the Square, this year’s iteration is concerned both with the symbolic value of geometric forms and the conditions of gatherings.
Visual Artists Ireland will host the 2012 All Ireland Get Together on Friday 15 June at Limerick School of Art & Design. The event will bring artists, curators and organisations together for a symposium on the future challenges of critical writing, a series of presentations from visual art education throughout Ireland, as well as information sessions, discussion groups and informal networking.
Extending across the city, complementary programmes from a range of independent arts organisations in Limerick including: Askeaton Arts, Faber Studios, Limerick Printmakers, Occupy Space and Ormston House will run alongside eva International After the Future.
“We will sing to the infinity of the present and abandon the illusion of a future.” (Franco Berardi (Bifo), After the Future, Oakland, CA: AK Press, 2011)