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“Forward/Backward and Reloading”
History: past, present, future. We were, we are, we will be. Island6 Arts Center opens the debate. The cards are on the table - NOW is the time. With the opening of its new exhibition, Forward/Backward and Reloading we bring to light the conundrum of the present, the interrelation between the tenses and the inexistence of past, present or future as independent entities. Perception augmented: are we here or there, or are we swaying between times and spaces?
The velocity of the present has corroded all mythical associations with the past into a famished appetite for a constructed and predictable future. Yet this very speed, rapidity and debauchery with which we project the future, has brought us to a standstill: we linger in a misunderstood present. We must now look back, not in order to dwell in the nostalgia of the past, but to reconcile ourselves with the present; the present as a space of recursive transformations between the past and the future. We must return from the past, only to run back to the future. We must revive memory as a rebuke to a present sandwiched between ineffectual moments, between worries, anxieties and anticipation. It is time to wind down. Or not?
Forward/Backward and Reloading seeks to open a contentious dialogue on the different realities and perceptual layers of the timeline. Through a wide range of pieces and installations, the artists corroborate in a series of studies that conjure different times and different moments, each sustaining an argument of its own. The show looks to evoke the transient nature of the past and the future in a present that dwindles in a confined space of uncertainty.
If in Hindi, the word for “yesterday” and “tomorrow”, “Kal” is the same, but only “today” has its own word, “Aaj”, then perhaps there is a lesson to learn. It may be said that the present is in itself conceptually different from the past or the future, and therefore we must question the passing of time as well as the present moment. The I Ching, the book of changes and the oldest oracle in history on the other hand, deals with the dynamic balance of opposites, with the evolution of events as a process, and the acceptance of the inevitability of change. So change, opposites and the present, past or future will be themes running through the work presented at this exhibition.
Lewis Carroll says in his book Through the Looking Glass, that “It is a poor sort of memory that only looks backwards”. The artists comprised in this show play with the idea of past and future as a source of identity and with indeterminate space-time as the present location in memory. In many of the pieces, the present purports a frameless existence that seeks to understand itself through the study of its past or future, sometimes moving forwards, while others backwards. One example is the artist Rose Tang. In her work, Rose projects herself by means of a photomontage onto a portrayed past of herself and then back again to the present, as a means to understanding her sexuality. In his work, Heungman Kwan attempts to discover answers to the present moment in Chinese history by establishing a visual discourse with the past.
The exhibition will focus on the different aspects of the concept of time, and how these have influenced the works presented here. While some artists deal with issues of identity or of a confounded past, others like Steve Messam or “The Family Project” team seek through their work to be catalysts for change and call for active participation and, or reaction by the audience. Some are rebellious, while others delicate and subtle.

Yasmin Sabet, 20th of July 2006 Madrid

Participating Artists: Rose Tang (TW), Heungman Kwan (HK), Steve Messam (UK), Romain Hostal (FR), Bob and Roberta Smith (UK), Jessica Voorsanger (US), Arnaud Bianquis (FR)

Forward/Backward and Reloading was supported by Arts Council England, Artist Links, 42below, ConfuciusSays

 Forward/Backward and Reloading:
 an exhibition curated by Thomas Charveriat
 opening July 29th 2006 at 19H - show from July 29th until August 29th 2006
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island6 is a philanthropic project founded by artists and managed by voluntary staff. The spirit & driving force behind all of island6's works and art-forward exhibitions is collaboration.
六岛是由艺术家自发创立, 由志愿者管理的公益艺术机构。其精神是为艺术家提供平台并支持各项协作项目。