artists & participants
The 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.