Launching the French and English editions – Future Perfect, 21st Century – recounting the history of the 21st century from anticipatory texts and scenarios.
40 x 500 cm
French and English versions
With the collaboration of Pedro Jiménez Morrás for the translation and Gidon Mead, Frédéric Favre, Céline Mangeat, Francesca Whitman for the rereading.
This edition is presented in the form of a 5-meter-long scroll with a timeline running through it relating the history of the 21st century.
It uses short, compelling descriptions of events taken from films and well-known science-fiction scenarios and vanishes into the void of an inconceivable future. Tense and endless, the projection into the future takes us, in this version, from 2001 to 2100. The texts conjure up scenes inhabited by the visionary intelligence of film-makers such as Kathryn Bigelow with Strange Days, Stanley Kubrick and 2001, A Space Odyssey, Paul Verhoeven and Robocop as well as Oliver Stone, Ridley Scott, Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Norman Jewisson and Richard Fleischer. We are also taken back to the great cult films: Gattaca, Metropolis, La Jetée and Alphaville.
At the same time an anticipatory scenario, situated in 20006 following the “Black Gases” era, will be put up on one of our exhibition area’s large windows offering passers-by a vision of a vanished world. Inside, the scenario continues, completed by a series of black-and-white photographs showing barren, charred urban landscapes, in this case Geneva, blown apart by a global cataclysm: nuclear war or giant tsunami. Nothing is left of the city, just the remains of its urban network – buildings, roads, squares – as well as dried-up canyons, traces of waterways and a lake. This deadly vision could just as well be an earth before life, as an ‘after’ all life. Although this world of total emptiness is fictional, for Marie Velardi it is the magnified metaphor of the dawn of our new century – like an aesthetic, hysterical exaggeration of a society which has lost its bearings and is exploding in fundamentalist wars, frantic quests for new beliefs, uncontrolled capitalism, unbridled technological development and the ultra-powerful world of science. The first consequences of all this are already being heralded : rising fascism and populism, radicalization of existing religions, new sectarianism, ecological catastrophes, pandemics…