Photo reportage from the exhibition ‘The Future is Certain; It’s the Past Which Is Unpredictable’ at Blaffer Art Museum University of Houston

Blaffer_20180219_001_v1The Future is Certain; It’s the Past Which Is Unpredictable is curated by Monika Lipšic and features work by the artists and collectives Tacita Dean, Felix Kalmenson, Maria Loboda, Jonas Mekas (with Johnston Sheard and Justė Kostikovaitė), Deimantas Narkevičius, Robertas Narkus, Emily Newman, Goda Palekaitė and Monika Lipšic, Jura Shust, Emilija Skarnulyte, Slavs and Tatars and Juan Pablo Villegas.

“The future is certain,” goes an old Soviet joke. “It’s the past which is unpredictable.” Bringing together works from twelve artists and collectives, The Future Is Certain; It’s the Past Which Is Unpredictable takes history as its central subject. Many of the artworks stem from a Central and Eastern European context where historiography and ideology have long been inextricable. All treat the past as primary material, an object for speculative thought, or a producer of revolutions, inventions and prophecies, and also recognize its power to recur as a social and psychological force.

The exhibition asks us to reconsider our perceptions of time, history, and progress—and the uncanny ways in which the past can reassert itself in all aspects of life and thought. Viewers are invited to read this exhibition as an atlas in which the map is bigger than the territory and time is neither fixed nor linear. The Future is Certain; It’s the Past Which Is Unpredictable is an economy of artworks and ideas. The historical facts and narratives inspiring it haunt the present and the future, refusing to disappear.

The Future Is Certain; It’s the Past Which Is Unpredictable is organized by independent curator Monika Lipšic for the Blaffer Art Museum and is adapted from the original version organized by Calvert 22 Foundation, London, on view from June 23–August 20, 2017, as part of The Future Remains: Revisiting Revolution season.

Generous funding for The Future Is Certain; It’s the Past Which Is Unpredictable is provided by the Lithuanian Council for Culture and the Houston branch of the Lithuanian American Community, and technical assistance is furnished by Josef Kristofoletti. Additional support comes from Ingrid Arneberg, Jereann Chaney, Cullen K. Geiselman, Cecily Horton, Sallie Morian, the University of Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts in the Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts and Nina and Michael Zilkha.

Additional exhibition and program funding is provided by the Cecil Amelia Blaffer von Furstenberg Endowment for Exhibitions and Programs, The Houston Endowment, Inc., The City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, The George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation, The Sarah C. Morian Endowment, Jo and Jim Furr Exhibition Endowment at Blaffer Art Museum and Blaffer Art Museum’s Advisory Board Members.

The Future Is Certain; It’s the Past Which Is Unpredictable
February 17–August 11, 2018
Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston
Houston, Texas, United States
blafferartmuseum.org

Photography: Peter Molick

Jura Shust, Spirit Intoxication and Absorbtion, 2017 Wine glasses, washing liquid, aluminum plates, activated charcoal pills Dimensions variable Courtesy of the artist

Jura Shust, Spirit Intoxication and Absorbtion, 2017
Wine glasses, washing liquid, aluminum plates, activated charcoal pills. Dimensions variable
Courtesy of the artist

Jura Shust, Spirit Intoxication and Absorbtion, 2017 Wine glasses, washing liquid, aluminum plates, activated charcoal pills Dimensions variable Courtesy of the artist

Jura Shust, Spirit Intoxication and Absorbtion, 2017
Wine glasses, washing liquid, aluminum plates, activated charcoal pills. Dimensions variable
Courtesy of the artist

Jura Shust, Spirit Intoxication and Absorbtion, 2017 Wine glasses, washing liquid, aluminum plates, activated charcoal pills Dimensions variable Courtesy of the artist

Jura Shust, Spirit Intoxication and Absorbtion, 2017
Wine glasses, washing liquid, aluminum plates, activated charcoal pills. Dimensions variable
Courtesy of the artist

Maria Loboda, Egyptian Blue Coat 1, 2, and 3, 2017. Three digital photographs mounted on Dibond 44 1/8 x 24 1/3 in. each Courtesy of the artist and Maisterralvalbuena, Lisbon and Madrid

Maria Loboda, Egyptian Blue Coat 1, 2, and 3, 2017.
Three digital photographs mounted on Dibond. 44 1/8 x 24 1/3 in. each
Courtesy of the artist and Maisterralvalbuena, Lisbon and Madrid

Maria Loboda, Egyptian Blue Coat 1, 2, and 3, 2017. Three digital photographs mounted on Dibond 44 1/8 x 24 1/3 in. each Courtesy of the artist and Maisterralvalbuena, Lisbon and Madrid

Maria Loboda, Egyptian Blue Coat 1, 2, and 3, 2017.
Three digital photographs mounted on Dibond
44 1/8 x 24 1/3 in. each
Courtesy of the artist and Maisterralvalbuena, Lisbon and Madrid

Maria Loboda, Egyptian Blue Coat 1, 2, and 3, 2017. Three digital photographs mounted on Dibond 44 1/8 x 24 1/3 in. each Courtesy of the artist and Maisterralvalbuena, Lisbon and Madrid

Maria Loboda, Egyptian Blue Coat 1, 2, and 3, 2017.
Three digital photographs mounted on Dibond
44 1/8 x 24 1/3 in. each
Courtesy of the artist and Maisterralvalbuena, Lisbon and Madrid

Deimantas Narkevičius, Matching the Tu-144, 2012 (date:check with artist) Audio tape, reel-to-reel player, stereo amplifier, speakers Duration: 10 minutes

Deimantas Narkevičius, Matching the Tu-144, 2012 (date:check with artist)
Audio tape, reel-to-reel player, stereo amplifier, speakers
Duration: 10 minutes

Deimantas Narkevičius, Matching the Tu-144, 2012 (date:check with artist) Audio tape, reel-to-reel player, stereo amplifier, speakers Duration: 10 minutes

Deimantas Narkevičius, Matching the Tu-144, 2012 (date:check with artist)
Audio tape, reel-to-reel player, stereo amplifier, speakers
Duration: 10 minutes

 Emilija Škarnulytė, No Place Rising, 2016. Digital video, color, sound Duration: 13 minutes Courtesy of the artist


Emilija Škarnulytė, No Place Rising, 2016.
Digital video, color, sound
Duration: 13 minutes
Courtesy of the artist

 Emilija Škarnulytė, No Place Rising, 2016. Digital video, color, sound Duration: 13 minutes Courtesy of the artist


Emilija Škarnulytė, No Place Rising, 2016.
Digital video, color, sound
Duration: 13 minutes
Courtesy of the artist

 Emilija Škarnulytė, No Place Rising, 2016. Digital video, color, sound Duration: 13 minutes Courtesy of the artist


Emilija Škarnulytė, No Place Rising, 2016.
Digital video, color, sound
Duration: 13 minutes
Courtesy of the artist

 Emilija Škarnulytė, No Place Rising, 2016. Digital video, color, sound Duration: 13 minutes Courtesy of the artist


Emilija Škarnulytė, No Place Rising, 2016.
Digital video, color, sound
Duration: 13 minutes
Courtesy of the artist

Emily Newman, The New Chelyushkinites, 2012–14 Digital video (duration: 25 minutes) Courtesy the artist

Emily Newman, The New Chelyushkinites, 2012–14
Digital video (duration: 25 minutes)
Courtesy the artist

Emily Newman, The New Chelyushkinites, 2012–14 Digital video (duration: 25 minutes) Courtesy the artist

Emily Newman, The New Chelyushkinites, 2012–14
Digital video (duration: 25 minutes)
Courtesy the artist

Emily Newman, The New Chelyushkinites, 2012–14 Digital video (duration: 25 minutes) Courtesy the artist

Emily Newman, The New Chelyushkinites, 2012–14
Digital video (duration: 25 minutes)
Courtesy the artist

Emily Newman, The New Chelyushkinites, 2012–14 Digital video (duration: 25 minutes) Courtesy the artist

Emily Newman, The New Chelyushkinites, 2012–14
Digital video (duration: 25 minutes)
Courtesy the artist

Exhibition view

Exhibition view

Jonas Mekas (in conversation with Justė Kostikovaitė London artist Johnston Sheard) On Life, 2016. Video, 63 min. Courtesy of www.thedeepsplash.com

Jonas Mekas (in conversation with Justė Kostikovaitė London artist Johnston Sheard) On Life, 2016.
Video, 63 min.
Courtesy of www.thedeepsplash.com

Jonas Mekas (in conversation with Justė Kostikovaitė London artist Johnston Sheard) On Life, 2016. Video, 63 min. Courtesy of www.thedeepsplash.com

Jonas Mekas (in conversation with Justė Kostikovaitė London artist Johnston Sheard) On Life, 2016.
Video, 63 min.
Courtesy of www.thedeepsplash.com

Felix Kalmenson, Atlas, 2017 Video installation Dimensions variable Courtesy of the artist

Felix Kalmenson, Atlas, 2017
Video installation
Dimensions variable
Courtesy of the artist

Felix Kalmenson, Atlas, 2017 Video installation Dimensions variable Courtesy of the artist

Felix Kalmenson, Atlas, 2017
Video installation
Dimensions variable
Courtesy of the artist

Felix Kalmenson, Atlas, 2017 Video installation Dimensions variable Courtesy of the artist

Felix Kalmenson, Atlas, 2017
Video installation
Dimensions variable
Courtesy of the artist

Felix Kalmenson, Atlas, 2017 Video installation Dimensions variable Courtesy of the artist

Felix Kalmenson, Atlas, 2017
Video installation
Dimensions variable
Courtesy of the artist

Juan Pablo Villegas, Moneda, 2017 Silver mirror, digital video (duration: 10 minutes) Courtesy of the artist

Juan Pablo Villegas, Moneda, 2017
Silver mirror, digital video (duration: 10 minutes)
Courtesy of the artist

Exhibition view

Exhibition view

 Tacita Dean, The Russian Ending, 2001 21 1/4 × 31 1/4 inches each Courtesy of Peter Blum Gallery, New York


Tacita Dean, The Russian Ending, 2001
21 1/4 × 31 1/4 inches each
Courtesy of Peter Blum Gallery, New York

 Tacita Dean, The Russian Ending, 2001 21 1/4 × 31 1/4 inches each Courtesy of Peter Blum Gallery, New York


Tacita Dean, The Russian Ending, 2001
21 1/4 × 31 1/4 inches each
Courtesy of Peter Blum Gallery, New York

 Tacita Dean, The Russian Ending, 2001 21 1/4 × 31 1/4 inches each Courtesy of Peter Blum Gallery, New York


Tacita Dean, The Russian Ending, 2001
21 1/4 × 31 1/4 inches each
Courtesy of Peter Blum Gallery, New York

Slavs and Tatars, Wheat Mollah, 2011 Wheat, cotton, glue, brick, 45 x 45 x 35 cm Installation view at Tate Modern, London. Photo by Tate Modern, London. Private Courtesy.

Slavs and Tatars, Wheat Mollah, 2011
Wheat, cotton, glue, brick, 45 x 45 x 35 cm
Installation view at Tate Modern, London. Photo by Tate Modern, London. Private Courtesy.

Robertas Narkus, YRA, 2018 Augmented reality app, objects, events, conversations, dimensions variable Courtesy of the artist

Robertas Narkus, YRA, 2018
Augmented reality app, objects, events, conversations, dimensions variable
Courtesy of the artist

Robertas Narkus, YRA, 2018 Augmented reality app, objects, events, conversations, dimensions variable Courtesy of the artist

Robertas Narkus, YRA, 2018
Augmented reality app, objects, events, conversations, dimensions variable
Courtesy of the artist

Deimantas Narkevičius, Once in XX century, 2004 Video betacam SP film transferred onto DVD, 8 min. Courtesy of the artist and MoMA

Deimantas Narkevičius, Once in XX century, 2004
Video betacam SP film transferred onto DVD, 8 min.
Courtesy of the artist and MoMA

Robertas Narkus, YRA, 2018 Augmented reality app, objects, events, conversations, dimensions variable Courtesy of the artist

Robertas Narkus, YRA, 2018
Augmented reality app, objects, events, conversations, dimensions variable
Courtesy of the artist

Robertas Narkus, YRA, 2018 Augmented reality app, objects, events, conversations, dimensions variable Courtesy of the artist

Robertas Narkus, YRA, 2018
Augmented reality app, objects, events, conversations, dimensions variable
Courtesy of the artist

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Echo Gone Wrong
Author
August 18, 2018
Published in Photo / Video from Lithuania
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