Filmmakers look to the future for Tomorrow Never Knows at Jerwood Space

By Mark Sheerin | 08 March 2012
Film still showing flowers on against a dark background
Corin Sworn, Tomorrow Never Knows. Film still© Corin Sworn
Exhibition: Tomorrow Never Knows, Jerwood Visual Arts at Jerwood Space, London, March 14 – April 22 2012

If music writer Simon Reynolds is to be believed, the past is the new future. His latest book, Retromania, suggests that thanks to both postmodernity and the web, the axis of time has flipped round to face backwards.

This phenomenon may cause problems for a new show at Jerwood Space in which four mid-career artists have been asked to consider what lies ahead. So Ed Atkins, Emma Hart, Naheed Raza and Corin Sworn have taken up the challenge, along with £4,000 bursaries.

In respective order, their films deal with witness statements, video taping, cryonics, and information overload. But as befits some pieces about the future, each of these responses has been left unfinished. They are, we are told, statements of intent rather than cast iron prophecies.

Reynolds may have not been available for an essay in the catalogue. So that task falls to the no less interesting Paul Morley and a fiercely articulate Martin Herbert.

To read their responses to the show is to get the impression we are already living in the future, with all the anxiety and paradox that might entail. If these pieces capture their spirit, the films will be well worth a look.

  • Open 10am-5pm (3pm Saturday and Sunday). Admission free.

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