L'avenir - (looking forward)

Statement from the Curators of La Biennale de Montréal

Our project will be assembled under the banner title L'avenir - (looking forward).

As the title suggests the focus of the project is on speculation and the history and currency of projecting into the future in relationship to recent developments in contemporary art. The idea of "what is to come" provides a framework for considering our current condition from geo-political, environmental, technological, scientific, social, cultural, ideological, economic, ethical and metaphysical perspectives.

We are seeking to examine the relationship of contemporary art practices to both historical discourses of futurity and the currency of projecting into the future. Accordingly the exhibition will present artists working in film, sculpture, photography, painting and installation who respond to current conditions by considering "what is to come". It will also include artists who propose art practices that are socially responsive to challenges presented by possible futures, practices that are frequently situational, performative and temporal, as well as artists who address the vexed question of the current agency of art and whether it has the transformational potential to influence the future.

States of performance and temporality are evoked in the project title and the idea of 'looking forward', which involves an action that simultaneously engages both the present and future. To look forward implies picturing a future moment, a process that is intrinsic to the project, which will examine the relationship of sight to consciousness and its role in both witnessing the present and imaging the future. Ultimately our exhibition aims to look backwards from possible futures to consider the present and to address the connectedness of the local to the global in that context.

Gregory Burke and Peggy Gale