Annals of the Twenty-Ninth Century is a group exhibition of newly commissioned work by artists who worked at Wysing during 2013 as part of our artists' residency programme: Anna Barham, James Beckett, Keren Cytter, Cécile B. Evans, Michael Dean, Gustav Metzger, Rupert Norfolk, David Osbaldeston, Seb Patane, Charlotte Prodger and Florian Roithmayr. The exhibition launches our 25th birthday year.
The title of the exhibition is taken from writer Andrew Blair's early 1874 science fiction novel of the same name; a wildly speculative intergalactic future forecast. Although the books predictions, including the creation of 'a hundred different zoological armies', may now appear wide of the mark, they are a useful indicator of the mores of the time. The text stands in interesting contrast to 2013 Wysing residency artist Gustav Metzger, whose influential writings and activist activities from the 1950's onwards have been prescient of our current concerns. Whereas Blair suggested a driving force for action resulting from passive spiritual change, in Metzger's writing it is dependant on fast, responsive personal decision.
Annals of the Twenty-Ninth Century takes Metzger's concerns and influence as a starting point from which to bring work by the other 2013 artists-in-residence together. The exhibition launches a significant year for Wysing, as we mark our 25th birthday. Throughout 2014 our programme will aim to look at the potential of the future through what we know of the past; realised through ongoing residencies, artistic retreats, events, exhibitions and an innovative Futurecamp during the summer of 2014.
As the first exhibition in our 2014 programme, Annals of the Twenty-Ninth Century gives an insight not only into the ambitious work produced at Wysing and where this may lead, but also to the research, discussion and exchange of ideas that take place at our rural site outside Cambridge.