f(r)ictions: futures in the past

 Avenir Institute, Vaast Colson. “The Anatomy of Modern Leviathan” (detail), 2015

Avenir Institute, Vaast Colson. “The Anatomy of Modern Leviathan” (detail), 2015

"The future is certain, it is only the past that is unpredictable". - Soviet anecdote

Histories made of the Past into stories of Present define pathways to Futures. How does ‘reality’ of Present becomes legitimate? How do fictional narratives embed into the matter of perceived ‘reality’? Michel Foucault actualised separation of ‘object’ and ‘subject’ in a discourse of storytelling of the late 18th century and onwards. He conceptualised earlier arrival of nationalism, geopolitics and grand ideologies. It presented ‘reality’ as multi-layered matrix of codes, standards - anonymous in authorship, meta-applicable and therefore immensely impactful. 

‘The Past’ is an ocean of material for limitless variations to narrate ‘History’ - as a constructed story, which primary goal is to legitimise the order of today and provide the image of the desired future by the seemingly anonymous storyteller. Deconstruction of history reveals artificiality - F(r)ictions takes step further and work on aesthetic embedding of alternative narratives into History’s course. Using methodology of deconstruction in the expanded field, beyond language [Derrida], international collective that consists of theorist, curator, designer and conceptual artist has been developing methodology of re-appropriating the Past in order to discover loopholes, aporias in ‘the History’ as it is and to outline alternative futures, that sometimes even can be achieved - if the history is taken not as a token of the ‘what was’, but as a way ‘the Past’ got the linear interpretation. They ‘symptomatically’ [Althusser] read the History in order to define its ‘aporias’ and then intervene by deconstructing its details and filling it up with alternative narratives. Understanding of methodological construction of the present history reveals potentialities in the present that lead to possible futures beyond short-termism. 

The collective applies methodology on-site to the institutions, narratives, stories and other actors of the History’s linear narrative - and re-imagines them in the light of possible alternatives. Re-discovering History as a construct, the collective presents alternative possibilities to ‘read’ the traces of the Past through the lens of the Present. Our aim is to develop projects of deconstruction of histories in several locations around the world. The documentation of these artistic researches will be afterwards published in the form of the book, as well as presented at conferences and maybe museums in the form of exhibitions, talks, conferences, etc.