Future Archaeologies

Here’s something for your eyes to munch on if you’re Berlin bound this month:

Armin Linke‘s Future Archaeologies photographs explore how some contemporary places and building structures can be regarded as ‘archaeologies of the future’, modern artefacts subject to slow-fading decay. This snapshot of a progress that never took the road it was supposed to follow triggers the question: ‘How long will it be before our own idea of modernity gets stranded in a dead end?’

An exhibition particularly interesting to visit in the light of last week’s Transmediale conference whose theme was “Futurity Now”.

To visit the gallery you have to climb up the first floor, the stairs have that pleasant and old fashioned smell of wax and spicy perfume for gentlemen. Open the door to the luminous white gallery and meet…

a display of tired stuffed apes at the Zoological Museum in Florence,

ReN_006203_5_C_WEB.jpgMuseum of Zoology and Natural History, La Specola, Firenze, Italy, 2008

the interior of the MIR space-station simulator in Moscow,

0amirmirmrir89.jpgStar City ZPK, MIR Simulator, Moscow, Russia, 1998

a modernist monument in Kosturnica, Macedonia,

0bigARN_000525_27_C_WEB.jpgKosturnica, Monument to Local Victims in WWII, Prilep, Macedonia, 2009

a bedsheet acting as a cinema screen in a village somewhere in China,

0ammunchcnucmhj.jpgCinema Screen, Guiyu China, 2005

the illegal Israeli settlement Har Homa in the West Bank,

ReN_005874_24_C_WEB.jpgHomat Shmuel – Har Homa Settlement Bethlehem, West Bank, 2007

“These are real Science Fiction scenarios, constructed man-made utopias, hurling their absurdities at the viewer,” says the press release for the show. The most literal example comes from the Shrine of the Book, a wing of The Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Built in the ’50s, its dome looks like the ideal set for science fiction movies.

0amuseumjersuralem.jpgFrederick Kiesler, Armand Bartos, Israel Museum, The Shrine of the Book, Jerusalem, Israel, 2008

Linke’s photographs poetically document globalization effects and complex interrelations of the idea of modernity with inherent structures of violence and colonialism.

The gallery also screens a video in 3D. Nuclear Voyage travels inside inactive nuclear power stations and waste sites. The slow and ordinary gestures that the last people working there perform are at odds with the James Bond-like world of wonder that nuclear used to embody.

21nucleare1zDz8.jpgNuclear Voyage, 2008, 3D film, blue-ray disc, sound: Renato Rinaldi, 10:22 min, Ed.: 1/5 + 2AP (film still)

The choice of filming and screening using 3-D technology nails the idea even further. The 3D aesthetics and the god-awful glasses one has to wear to follow the movie offer an ironic comment on the renewed hype regarding spatial viewing of images (i just read that LG predicts that 30 million people will buy 3-D TV sets by 2012), the spectacle of which had already been celebrated as photography’s great promise in the 19th century with the advent of stereoscopy.

0anuclearavo8yage9.jpgNuclear Voyage, 2008

Future Archaeologies runs at the at Klosterfelde Gallery in Berlin until March 6, 2010.