Organized by the Museo Tamayo under the curatorship of Julieta González, the exhibition El mañana ya estuvo aquí tries to give an account of the historiographic interest of contemporary art and focuses, in particular, on the retrospective view of some artists towards the past views about the future.

Taking the Cold War, the space race, the Third World War phantom, and an accelerated technological development as a scenario, the imaginary society of the 1960s predicted the potential futures, the futuristic cities and the journeys in time, among other things. The title of the exhibition makes reference, rightly so, to the possibility of traveling to other epochs and through the resources of paradox of predetermination, a characteristic of science fiction stories.

El mañana ya estuvo aquí includes works from the collection of the Museo Tamayo created in the 1950s, 1960s and the early 1970s that offer distinct versions of modernity. The pieces strike up a dialogue with today’s works that reflect the growing interest of the history of art and its attention to the perception of the future that it had in those years. The works convey, at times, a nostalgic sense of loss when facing the potential of the unrealized futuristic visions of the twentieth century.

The first section, Archeologists of the Future: Prophets, Messages and Reconstruction Works, is a preamble to the exhibition. The pieces deal with the reconstruction, investigation and reflection of history. For example, Carol Bove and Simon Starling display distinct processes of historic reconstruction in their works; the drawings of Fernando Bryce hint at the continual reflection on history that takes place in this exhibition and the pieces by Kenneth Armitage and Mathias Goeritz allude, respectively, to the act of prediction and communication through messages.

The show continues with Memories of the Future with the work of Gerard Byrne 1984 and Beyond, 2007, that deals with the idea of the visions of the future that now belongs to the past. This installation consists of three videos and a group of black-and-white photographs where Byrne utilizes a conversation from the pages of Playboy magazine (an article from the summer 1963 with the same title as Byrne’s piece).

In the next section Anxieties of the Cold War: From Splitnik to Sputnik, the works of Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, Roberto Matta and Adolph Gottlieb convey the anxiety faced with the prospect of atomic annihilation, as well as oppressive visions of humanity dominated by machines. On the other hand, the work of Simon Starling revises themes and similar aesthetic approaches, reflecting on the ideal of the monument and its commemorative function; and the installations of Johan Grimonprez and Julieta Aranda add another dimension to the theme of the Cold War.

The Ultimate Frontier: Space Is the Place speaks to the aesthetic of the space era of the 1960s through a selection of pop art and luminous-kinetic works from the Museo Tamayo collection realized by Victor Vasarely, Yaacov Agam and Kasuya Sakai, among others.

The exhibition ends with That Was Tomorrow. The Value of Ruin and Obsolescence: Perhaps the Planned Cities Are Condemned to End Up in the Graveyards of Failed Utopias? . This section deals with the utopian and futuristic enterprises of architecture and modern urbanism through the works of Dorit Margreiter, The Otolith Group, Rita McBride and Pedro Reyes, to mention a few.

The exhibition El mañana ya estuvo aquí be open to the public from Friday, 24 May, to Sunday, 22 September 2013.

© MUSEO DE ARTE CONTEMPORÁNEO DE MONTERREY, 2016 | Zuazua y Jardón S/N, Centro. Monterrey, N.L. Mexico, 64000 | Ph. +52 (81) 8262.4500

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