Into the Unknown - A Journey Through Science Fiction

3 Jun 2017 – 1 Sep 2017

Event times

Sat - Wed: 10am-8pm *last entry 6.30pm
Thu - Fri: 10am-10pm *last entry 8.30pm
Bank holidays: 12 noon-8pm *last entry 6.30pm

Cost of entry

Standard: £14.50
Concessions: £12.00

Barbican Centre

London, United Kingdom

Travel Information

  • Moorgate / Barbican

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Into the Unknown brings together artists, designers, filmmakers, SFX specialists, musicians and writers all testing the boundaries of reality through some of the most experimental works of all time.


Curated by Swiss historian and writer Patrick Gyger, this festival-style exhibition explores the classic narratives of Science Fiction and presents them from a new, global perspective.

Uncover hidden gems from original manuscripts by Jules Verne to props and models from blockbuster films including Star Wars™, Star Trek, Interstellar, District 9, Alien, Jurassic Park and Godzilla. Interact with new work by the Oscar award-winning VFX specialists behind Ex Machina and The Martian, adventure into a gallery of aliens and discover vintage postcards and advertisements promoting Soviet visions of space. Find out about the ways in which contemporary art has used Science Fiction as a framework to address the important and sometimes subversive questions of our time, with work by Larissa Sansour, Soda_Jerk, Dara Birnbaum, Trevor Paglen, Conrad Shawcross and many more. Into the Unknown takes you on an extraordinary journey, from the 19th century cabinet of curiosities to the vast vistas of space, through future cities and into the inner landscapes of human perception.

A selection of artists’ short films will be featured within the exhibition, including; Afronauts by American writer Frances Bodomo, inspired by the true story of the short-lived Zambia space programme, Pumzi (Breath in Swahili) by Kenyan film director Wanuri Kahiu and Invisible Cities #Part 4 #Stations by French director Pierre-Jean Giloux on the Japanese Metabolism movement.

Alongside a dedicated exhibition catalogue, a public programme will accompany the exhibition, including film screenings of Science Fiction cults and classics, musical performances and a series of talk events in partnership with New Scientist and Penguin Classics.

Into the Unknown: A Journey Through Science Fiction is curated by Barbican International Enterprises with co-production partners, Brandts –Museum of Art & Visual Culture, Denmark, and Onassis Cultural Centre, Greece. It will be staged at both venues before embarking on an international tour.

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