THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME curated by Marco Antonini
During the spring of 2001, fresh from graduation, I enjoyed a brief trip to New York with a friend. During those days, and in the midst of the bombardment of visual and intellectual stimuli that New York apparently never fails to deliver, I also realized the naiveté of some of my expectations. This happened exactly as I first set foot in Lower Manhattan. Back then, the ground zero of the so-called western world was not yet “Ground Zero”. We toured the whole area in a single day, making all the requisite stops. Curiously, the few interiors (lobbies, indoor gardens and visitor centers) that we had the chance to see were what surprised and interested me most. Having grown up with shiny, flawless postcard images of this corner of the world drilled in my subconscious by TV and movies, I ended up being seriously disappointed. Disjointed paneling, flickering neon and bored, boring people were not exactly on my to-see list. A generally tired, frenetically lazy atmosphere wrapped up the whole experience. We left with no particular memories, off to some more rewarding experience somewhere else: anywhere else our wary feet and well-worn tourist guide would direct us.
In my opinion, one of the most interesting aspects of the work of past and present guests of the LMCC residency program is the fact that it is so often boldly projected towards the future. A diary made of images, an index of premonitions: things that will be, things that could be and things that would never possibly be (but really should). The shape of things to come emerges in works that are deeply influenced by the unique setting of this residency program. The dramatic views of a
now more than ever ghostly 91st floor window. The chaos of a lost crowd of morning commuters funneled by the automated movement of a dark, shiny escalator. The evil eye of thousands and thousands of surveillance cameras… Lower Manhattan was and is a place of great tension, the dispenser of a human energy that is constantly held back and released. This very tension, together with the idea of the Artist as Shaman (or Shaman/Showman, as Alighiero Boetti referred to himself) inspired the selection of a highly diverse group of artworks, visionary statements that draw their energy from the peculiar surroundings of Lower Manhattan to project it into the future of things and images.