Future Forms (2017)

36 inkjet photographic prints
15 x 10 cm each, 2 vitrines
Commissioned for the exhibition In Edenia, a City of the Future, Yermilov Center, Kharkiv, June 8–July 9, 2017

Zalman could not fall asleep that night. All the tableaus that he had seen in ‘Freedom Square’ … everything had blended together to form one fantastic picture that prevented him from sleeping … One minute he was in Japan, the next in Egypt; one minute in St. Thomas, the next on Corsican Islands. He had tossed and turned from one side to the other, and it wasn’t until midnight that he managed to fall asleep.”
In Edenya, The City of the Future, Harkaver Yiddish Publishers, 1918, p. 56

Echoing the intersecting of landscapes in the protagonist’s dream in the novel ‘In Edenya, the City of the Future’, Future Forms is composed of images derived from photographic albums produced across a range of geographical locations and historical times. Zooming into the heterogeneous raw material, the work is constructed as an encyclopedic arrangement of fragments of images that inhabit the imaginary museum of the city of Edenya. The mechanically reproduced photographic image is the point of departure for an archaeology of forms that references the four natural elements, blending of colors and patterns as a journey across fire, earth, air and water. Future Forms questions the technological glory described in the novel by presenting this journey as documentation of a utopic landscape of the past, prior to technology becoming the signifier of the future. In the work, the tension between technological photographic images and natural forms establishes the critical mechanism for challenging the material culture envisage in the text. This encyclopedic collection that crosses times, textures, histories, disciplines and cultures follows a scientific symmetry in order to produce a grammar, a new language of the material world. Presented as a series of clues mapping a real or imaginary landscape, Future Forms functions as a looking back to our present from the point of view of the future.
Aikaterini Gegisian, May 2017