COMING SOON, Real Imaginary Futures
May 24 – August 2, 2014
The International Space Orchestra features in Coming Soon, Real Imaginary Futures
Other particpants to the exhibiton are amongst others OMA (Rem Koolhaas), Studio Smack, Atelier van Lieshout, Rachel Sussman, Space Caviar, Jurgen Bey, Arne Hendriks, and Metahaven.
On Saturday, May 24 at 5 pm, Bureau Europa opens the exhibition COMING SOON. With landscape as a metaphor, the exhibition asks what lies at the heart of our contemporary utopias. From inspiration in the past and urgencies of the present, to projections of possible futures, the needs and virtues of our time (ecology, economy, social cohesion and technology) are extrapolated and implicitly worked into the exhibition and its parallel program. It is also recognised that, despite good intentions, most utopias lead to failure. This is possibly a good thing, since it is the utopian impulse – the quest itself – that has the greatest value.
COMING SOON also examines the format of collective knowledge production as partnerships by bringing together the unusual amount of 7 different curators: Lukas Feireiss, Lara Schrijver, Institute of Relevant Studies (Giovanni Innella en Agata Jaworska), Piet Vollaard, Roosje Klap, and Saskia van Stein. This group is brought together as an experiment, and from proven knowledge and affinity with the subject, albeit from different disciplines and specialties.
In the parallel program, events are organised in conjunction with other educational, cultural or private partners. This discursive parallel program is jointly developed with (design) professionals, students, and the wider interested public. In this section, the larger urban and social issues of the future are highlighted.
Expressions of longing for another place, of a dream landscape, the ideal city or an alternatively organised society go far back in time. Some 500 years ago, in his 1516 publication, Utopia, Thomas Moore described a traveller’s quest on his way to a safe haven: an imaginary island isolated from the rest of the world, where one can live in an unusual reality. Such searches for an alternative are one of the prominent features of utopian narratives.
COMING SOON is an exhibition about this desire for an imaginary reality: an eclectic overview of utopian efforts, stories, and practices through the history of mankind. An extensive archive of illustrative examples, particularly from Western cultural and visual history, provides the basis for a genealogy of utopian images and ideas. In addition to this historical overview, a cinematic “Docutopia” is developed. After literature, film is considered to be the medium of choice for imagining other worlds. The spatial works in the exhibition are contemporary projections of the near future, and are more than mere representations of escapist fantasy worlds. They claim the right to exist through other ways of thinking about the structure of the world around us, and kick-starting our imaginations. The selected works are evocative and positioned between fact and fiction. COMING SOON examines the critical potential of this imaginary space (or spaces) between reality and utopian projection. The promise of change, improvement, and imagination lies at the heart of every design and is a crucial part within design disciplines.
The future is coming; you can wait for it!