Futures: Immediate, Near, Eventual, Far, 2017
NEXT/TENLakeshore Arts, Toronto, Canada
Curator: Jacqui Arntfield
Photo Credits: Monica Gutierrez
04.01.2017 - 04.29.17

Immediate Future, 2017
Shopping cart, shipping pallet, donated non-perishables, artist performance

Near Future, 2017
Tulips, Lake Ontario water, bottles, shipping pallets, clay pots, community performance

Eventual Future, 2017
Hand-written messages, glass bottles, shipping pallets, artist and community performance

Far Future, 2017
Library books, notebook, shipping pallets, Lake Ontario rocks, community performance

Commissioned for Lakeshore Arts' 10th anniversary, NEXT / TEN is a participatory exhibition that invited local residents to re-imagine the future of their neighbourhood through the four-part project, Futures: Immediate, Near, Eventual, Far. 

NEXT / TEN (Immediate Future): Critical situations demand immediate actions. Addressing the existing struggles of poverty in a gentrifying neighbourhood, Immediate Future invited community members to fill a shopping cart full of food and imagine a future where all basic needs are met. As a closing performance, the artist pushed the cart and its collected contents to the local Daily Bread Food Bank in a gesture of compassion on behalf of the community. 

NEXT / TEN (Near Future): While only alive for a short a time, perennial plants’ power lie in their resilience to return. Near Future invited community members to select and plant a single tulip – a flower once described by Persian poets as a symbol for paradise on earth. As a gesture to what they wanted to see cultivated for many future returns, they chose their colours wisely: hope (yellow), forgiveness (white), courage (purple) and love (pink). For the duration of the exhibition, the plants were nourished by collected Lake Ontario water. During the closing event, community members returned to the gallery and took what they sowed back into the world.

NEXT / TEN (Eventual Future): The duration of a lifetime is relative and inevitable, and as humans, this is what unifies us. Eventual Future asked community members to contribute a well-wish to a stranger that they would never meet. In this artist edition of 50, participants wrote an aspirational message to an unknown individual and placed in one of the corked bottles. During the closing event, the messages were randomly distributed to gallery goers and dispersed throughout the neighbourhood. 

NEXT / TEN (Far Future): Knowledge is augmented and built upon as it is passed down through generations. Using a selection of curated books from the local Mimico Public Library and the artist’s personal collection, Far Future invited community members to leverage the source material and create a collective vision for what a community can be. Encouraged to take their time, browse the books and contribute a sentence or two to the collaged manifesto.