Having opened in March of this year, New York’s Ford Foundation Gallery has recently kicked off ‘Utopian Imagination,’ an exhibition which will round out the gallery’s first year of shows. Having opened on September 17th, the exhibition takes a look at what the future could hold for us…if we heed the warnings of life today and take action now.
Curated by Brooklyn-based artist and curator Jaishri Abichandani, the exhibition brings together the works of 14 artists from around the world. Each work offers a different look into the future they envision to inspire hope in viewers despite a growing sense of jeopardy in today’s world. Given their varying backgrounds, including those who are feminist, LGBTQIA+, and indigenous people, each artist brings unique experiences to the table. Thus, their views of the what the future could hold provoke a ‘sense of wonder and magic.’
‘The artists of “Utopian Imagination” are creating worlds ahead of our time by imagining societies built upon justice and inclusion that hold the key to our survival,’ stated Lisa Kim, director of the Ford Foundation Gallery in a press release. ‘While our future may be uncertain, the works by these artists offer us a momentary space of respite and joy, a vision of a just world transformed by love, imagination, perseverance, and solidarity.’
Included in the exhibition are artists Saks Afridi (Pakistan/United States), Morehshin Allahyari (Iran/United States), Sue Austin (England), Firelei Báez (Dominican Republic/United States), Beatriz Cortez (El Salvador/United States), Lola Flash (United States), Juliana Huxtable (United States), farxiyo jaamac (Somalia/Canada), Lee Bul (Korea), Cannupa Hanska Luger (United States – Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara, Lakota), Mariko Mori (Japan), Zak Ové (England), Mikael Owunna (United States), Yinka Shonibare MBE (England/Nigeria).
The gallery’s inaugural year has been punctuated by a series of exhibitions that have focused on issues prevalent in today’s world. Between March 4th and May 11th of this year, the gallery’s first exhibition ‘Perilous Bodies,’ centred around issues of race, gender, ethnicity, and class to look at justice in today’s society. Following it was ‘Radical Love’ (June 11th through August 17th), which offered love as the way to end the violences we face. In a sense, ‘Radical Love’ was also a calming salve after the exploration of difficult topics in the first exhibition. Now, ‘Utopian Imagination’ offers what could be in store for the future, at least if we tackle the issues at hand, to make way for a better tomorrow.
‘Utopian Imagination’ will run through December 7th at the Ford Foundation Gallery in New York.