"Science fiction is the art of the possible" declared the American writer Ray Bradbury. Under the guise of anticipation, it speaks to us of the present. It is a laboratory of hypotheses that manipulate and extrapolate the norms and repressive dogmas of today's world, its ambitions, its social afflictions, its opportunities and its perils. Bringing together more than 200 works from the late 1960s to the present day, the exhibition The Doors of Possibility. Art & science fiction offers visitors an immersion in SF on 2300 m². Together with visual artists, writers, but also architects and filmmakers, it seeks to highlight the links between imagined worlds and our reality. By relying on the current claims in favor of utopias for the 21st century, it aims to generate debate, inspiration and a form of hope.
The last few decades have seen the advent of a "liquid" form of the present that disintegrates our certainties and habits, accelerating both discoveries and their obsolescence. In this unstable context, many artists are inspired by the universe of science fiction to lead critical reflections. It can more finely and deeply than other genres question the potentials of the human being by exceeding in particular the cleavages between science, ethics and politics in order to pose an "external" glance on humanity and its inventions.
By developing the possibilities of the present, by elaborating narratives from scientific hypotheses or by conceiving unheard-of ways of life and realities, science fiction is a genre that puts man in front of radical otherness. It proposes an emancipation of the dominant political speeches, it embodies the difference, the political utopia, the deep renewal of our perception. Because of this, it has always been a breeding ground for protest movements.
The speculative fiction irritates us, makes us progress by frightening us, shakes the ramparts of our habits and those of our conscience. If it acts from the margins, the themes it tackles are at the heart of current societal problems that concern us all: social fragmentation, ultra-capitalism, new forms of panopticism and totalitarianism, alienation, trans-/post-humanism, the suppression of gender boundaries, colonialism or, of course, ecological disaster and human obsolescence. However, since the historic exhibition Science-fiction that Harald Szeemann organized in 1967/68 at the Kunsthalle Bern, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris and the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, a time when SF had the wind in its sails, few large-scale projects have been dedicated to its fruitful marriage with art.
Gathering about 180 works from the end of the 1960s to the present day, the exhibition The Gates of Possibility. Art & science fiction will search on 2 300 m2 with visual artists and writers, but also architects or filmmakers, capillarities between imagined universes and reality.
In the mode of self-fulfilling prophecies, science fiction continues to forge our vision of the future and participates in its construction. Changing the imaginary and semantics also means influencing the trajectory of societies.
The exhibition, by not focusing on the dominant dystopian prism, will work towards a revitalization and a voluntary reappropriation of the future.
Nov 05, 2022→ Apr 10, 2023
Great Nave and Gallery 3
Alexandra Müller, researcher/curator at the Centre Pompidou-Metz