Berlin-based independent curator, art historian and writer Elisa Rusca curated the exhibition Future, Now. which opened March 5th 2015 at SomoS in Berlin. I had the chance to meet with her for a little talk about the show, art in general and of course the future.
A curator has to think about certain aspects of hanging and placing paintings, sculptures and installations. Three things have to be considered: space, light, balance. Elisa told me that she tries to find a balance within the single art pieces and between art works and space. You have to find a way to use the maximum of the space, while giving the right impression of a single work. Another point is to create a story between the art pieces, but still let the single one tell its own.
Since 2014, Elisa has been busy preparing the exhibition “Future, Now.” beginning with the concept that she already had in mind. Elisa knew all the artists before and already knew who she will include in the show even before she decided to stage the exhibition at SomoS. Besides existing works, some exhibits have been made specifically for this show. Together, these works tell a story, of time, history, repetition, and the future as we see it now. it seems like a clock circle that repeats itself through history, present and also maybe future. It is a story of human advance, destruction, and renewal.
Since the future is connected mostly to technologic innovations and progress, the association with Science Fiction is obvious. But S.F. turns out to be equivocal, because it can stand for both, Science Fiction or Speculative Fiction. Science Fiction is based on science and technology, as well as to real inventions like space ships, computers and robots. Speculative Fiction is a more philosophical approach to thinking about future changes. This includes especially the interactions between humans, technology and the world itself.
When asked what Elisa personally thinks about the future, she describes herself as tending towards pessimism, but not as someone who ignores the possibilities of renewal. The themes of her exhibitions deal with current issues to wake up people that we have to act in a different way – right now! For example, Li Hui’s sculpture “Blooming” also deals with the topic of change and renewal. “Blooming” shows the moment of an atomic explosion. What seems as a horrible memory of history, could also be our future. In the way it is created, it shows an aesthetic of disaster. However, we can also call it a homage to life and its power to be reborn.
My final question to Elisa was what she is planning in the future, but she remained secretive about her long-term plans. She did tell me about two upcoming shows. The first show “Uncanny Valley” starts on April 4th at Kreuzberg Pavillion with works by Vera Gelesev, Eun Ji Kim and Kaori Yamashita. The second show is called “Unbound” at Zweigstelle Berlin from June 13th til July 11th 2015 with works by Deok Yeoung Gim, Nathan Baker and Harriet Clare.
Interview by Lydia Wendt