Jason de Haan
Lauren Hall
James K-M
Mac McArthur
Iriz Pääbo
Holly Ward

April 30 – June 4, 2011
Reception: Saturday, April 30, 7 PM

Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre | 21 A Queen St. | Kingston, Ontario

With Paleofuturity, Modern Fuel will be filled with a group
exhibition that turns the space into a time machine transporting
viewers into the futuristic past. Or the prehistoric future? Curated
by Michael Davidge, Paleofuturity draws together artists from
across the country and from a wide a range of disciplines
including painting, sound installation, photography, video and
sculpture. The exhibition opens hypothetical spaces for the
contemplation of the effects of technology on the consciousness
of time, and, potentially, vice versa.

Left: I Opener, Locus SolusOne Hand Watches The Other
Centre: Question and Answer and StarsCloud 8
(Lauren Hall, upper left; Jason de Haan, middle)
Right: Self Defensive
(Lauren Hall, left; Mac McArthur, right)

Excerpt from the exhibition essay by Michael Davidge:

Although they may appear to be the least futuristic looking works in the exhibition, the paintings of James K-M were the main inspiration for this investigation of paleofuturity. With an economy of means, relatively simple geometric patterns painted with acrylics and stain on plywood, K-M has been working through permutations of a code whose implications could be apocalyptic. The paintings express a metaphysics related to the end of the Mayan calendar, which occurs at the winter solstice of 2012. The implication is that if society continues to run the same course it has taken for millennia then certainly the end for us is nigh. K-M’s paintings attempt to short-circuit any self-fulfilling prophecy by establishing new patterns for thinking that break with old identifications. K-M has described his paintings as “contemporary pictographs” that “point to a non-rational language beyond mind.” A painting like I Opener (2007), for example, not only puts forward a notion of the artistic process as perceptual and not conceptual, but also intimates that the ultimate point of reception is the annihilation of the self. K-M’s practice is certainly at odds with the reigning “Vancouver School” of thought, whose clerical photo-conceptualism is ultimately conservative. K-M finds a more kindred spirit in the work of the Canadian West Coast Hermetics, like Gregg Simpson and Gilles Foisy, who have been marginalized since the ’70s. The concise, almost rudimentary, statements made by K-M’s paintings are prolegomena to further explorations of arcane subject matter, outside of time and after the end of time. As K-M says about his painting Question and Answer and Stars (2007), “When you ask a question of the unknown you have to ask it in a way that can be understood.” The answer will invariably be a reflection of the question.

More than speculative fictions, the works in Paleofuturity do not simply demand a suspension of disbelief. Rather, they elicit the buoyancy of belief. Belief proffers the levitation required for an out-of-this-world experience. Whether or not the future is utopian or dystopian, it will be important to remember that salvation is usually understood to lie in something altogether other, completely foreign and outside ourselves. Threshold experiences of worlds beyond that the works in Paleofuturity evoke introduce us to the previously unknown and offer opportunities for the intense imaginings of other arrangements.

The complete exhibition essay by Michael Davidge here: Paleofuturity Essay.pdf