Sofía Dourron

Myths of the Near Future

Myths of the Near Future

Myths of the Near Future, organized in 2020 by the Gwangju Biennale Foundation as part of the commemorations of the 80th anniversary of the May 18 uprising, arrives at Parque de la Memoria after being exhibited at Asia Art Center in Gwangju, Korea. The exhibition brings together projects by Argentinian and Korean artists, whose works dive into the loops of time, using fiction and poetry to revisit their histories, examine its surfaces, and feel its textures. Projects that build on the foundational narratives of resistance movements, the recovery of democracy, and the repetitive neoliberal tales, in order to envision new political imaginaries. The artists gathered here actively and poetically revisit militant films from the late 1960s, old Korean protest songs, degraded artisanal techniques, neglected archives, and shamanic rituals; they collaborate with others, human and non-human witnesses of tragedy and violence. 

 Myths of the Near Future deals with the intangible but powerful act of embodying history in the works of Young In Hong and Adrián Villar Rojas, focusing on the act of sharing knowledge about the struggles of the past. Im Heung-soon, Agustina Triquell and Lucrecia Lionti reflect on art’s pedagogical potential. Finally, the exhibition delves into archives and memories in the works of Eduardo Molinari, Part Time Suite, and Yun Choi and Minwhee Lee, who inquire whether art can be an exercise of political imagination that in turn results in new visions and rituals for democratic living. As in Ballard’s story, from which the exhibition takes its title, sometimes fiction—whether in the form of otherworldly myths or sci-fi dystopias—is the only way to break through the obscured yet very resilient residues of those ideologies that plotted against the sustainability of democracy. 

These unlikely encounters seek to foster the invention of a common language between two distant countries. Myths of the Near Future features artists that believe in the power of fiction to uphold or revise an inherited ideology and its tales. In the territory of fiction, information can become myth and myths can shift into efficient tools to uphold ideologies in the public realm. Ultimately, the question these works ask is not so much what happened in the past, but how it will turn out.

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