Awfully Wonderful: Science Fiction in Contemporary Art
Curated by Bec Dean and Lizzie Muller
Presented by Performance Space
Awfully Wonderful: Science Fiction in Contemporary Art explores a spectrum of seductive, terrifying and fantastic potential futures. The exhibition presents new and existing work by twelve Australian artists including time machines, hand made robots, meteorological instruments, interplanetary communication devices, a mars gravity simulator, wearable technologies and apocalyptic visions.
Science fiction is a potent cultural expression of the impact of science and technology on society. In visual art, as in film and literature, artists use the mode of science fiction to open up imaginary worlds and alternative spaces where different social, political and personal possibilities can be explored. In these imaginary worlds, real scientific discoveries, tools and technologies are combined with speculative and fantastical future possibilities.
Awfully Wonderful draws from the curatorial inheritance of the Wonder Chamber, an encyclopedic collection of types of objects whose categorical boundaries were yet to be defined. It brings together the work of artists working across photomedia, installation, performance, sound, video, design and painting. It explores how these different expressions, objects and ephemera can also function as experimental and philosophical conduits through which truth and fiction mingle, creating powerful new ways of understanding our present and preparing for our future.
Awfully Wonderful features artist talks and a diverse Public Program including screenings of Philip Brophy’s film Northern Void and Fritz Lang’s Metropolis in the ClubHouse. There are opportunities for discussion and discourse with artist and curator tours, a RealTime forum, a Speculative Futures Symposium and an interpretation session by scientists. Don’t miss Adam Norton’s Mars Gravity every Saturday from 11am-12pm for the duration of the exhibition. Visit performancespace.com.au for the full Public Program and screening details and bookings.
Guest co-curator Lizzie Muller is Senior Lecturer in the School of Design at the University of Technology, Sydney. She specialises in audience participation and interdisciplinary collaboration in contemporary art. Artists: Philip Brophy, Eugene Carchesio, Haines + Hinterding, Deborah Kelly, David Lawrey & Jaki Middleton, Ms&Mr, Hayden Fowler, Ian Haig, Adam Norton, Sam Smith and Simon Yates.
Image: Adam Norton On Mars…(2010). Photo: NASA and Craig Bender