Chapter 1 artists:
Cristina de Middel
Katharien de Villiers
Kumasi J Barnett
Ndiaye Abdoulaye (Florent Mazzoleni)
The Nest Collective
This cosmic dance of bursting decadence and withheld permissions twists all our arms collectively, but if sweetness can win, and it can, then I’ll still be here tomorrow to high-five you yesterday, my friend. Peace.
– Pendleton Ward, Adventure Time Vol. 1
Still Here Tomorrow to High Five You Yesterday…, an exhibition at Zeitz MOCAA, explores the different ways in which artists, performers, writers and architects tackle the complexities inherent within the dual concepts of Utopia and progress. Exploring emergent spaces that exist both in the realm of the mind and in the physical unknown, the exhibition points critically to the mirages, metaphors, stereotypes and matrixes of progress.
Through the works of contemporary artists from Africa and its diaspora, the exhibition engages with the phenomenon of travel and migration through imagined, alternative realities that reference both fixed and immaterial locations.
Musician Sun Ra speaks of ‘unknown things, impossible things, ancient things and potential things’. In this way, the exhibition enters alternative stratospheres, allowing viewers to explore the ‘multiple simultaneous utopianisms’ (Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum) that inhabit our perceptions and worlds.
The artists in this exhibition propose many different concepts of time, a time that is no longer linear but cyclical, inter-dimensional and experiential. The artworks suggest an infinite realm of potential transformation — where past, present and future collapse into one. Evoking a place yet-to-be-known, the exhibition challenges the idea that utopia is synonymous with escapist pursuits. Instead, the works of the artists on exhibition offer a poetic critique of the norms of existing societies.
Born from notions of space travel and the tropes of Afro-futurist movements, the exhibition is conceived in chapters that unfold and progress presenting a plurality of post-colonial futures. In this way, the exhibition shapes and shifts in the gallery, disrupting and distorting the constructs of utopia and its opposite: dystopia, encouraging more nuanced perspectives on our shared futures.