Sooner or Later
Non-Euclidean visions of the future as a place to be
January 13 – February 25, 2017
Curated by Torreya Cummings
Opening Reception: Friday, January 13, 2017, 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 12:00 – 6:00 PM
Artists: Bonanza, Sofia Córdova, Jader, Grace Rosario Perkins, Richard-Jonathan Nelson
With texts by: Metropolarity, Dorothy Santos
If we do not imagine the future, someone else will do it for us. Sooner or Later features work by artists and writers working in a speculative vein from a variety of perspectives. From the raw material of what is and what has been, these artists create diverse and complex visions of what could be. By turns hopeful and dismal, acutely funny and emphatically human, they cast spells of influence over our imagined future and, in so doing, turn a critical eye on our present.
In her 1982 paper “A Non-Euclidean View of California as a Cold Place to Be,” groundbreaking science fiction writer Ursula K. LeGuin confronts commonly-held understandings of utopia, centering them in specifically gendered and racialized notions of the ideal. Drawing from myriad sources, including Lévi-Strauss, Coyote myths, and the I Ching, she weaves an alternate vision of the future that takes up timely questions about the role of technology, the sustainability of growth, and the nature of freedom.
The artists in Sooner or Later present works that are more fiction than science, more about stories and visions than technology and data. Bonanza’s newly commissioned video work immerses us in an abstract future world marked by camp aesthetics and a heightened awareness of space, place, and self. Sofia Córdova’s installation, part of her ongoing project Echoes of a Tumbling Throne (Odas Al Fin De Los Tiempos), delves into a world before and after an unspecified event which ends culture as we know it. Jader presents elaborately constructed portraits of hybrid beings that transcend divisions of species and gender. Grace Rosario Perkins creates magical generative spaces in which to disassemble and reassemble her personal narrative in an installation made in collaboration with her father on the Gila River Indian Reservation. Richard-Jonathan Nelson layers images onto textiles to craft altars, circles of manifestation and portals to other ways of being.
In a post-election moment where we are being told that “identity politics” has fed white anger and resentment, ultimately fueling white supremacist movements, we affirm the importance of the voices of queer artists, artists of color, and women artists in imagining and enacting the future as a place we want to be.