With interest, awareness and indulgence of things like comic books and superhero films, literature and artwork steadily on the incline over the past few years it should come as no surprise that a lot of the genres, scenarios and classic storylines commonly attached or associated with those areas of interest are also increasing in popularity. As a result; more creative people are seeing genres like science fiction, fantasy and horror as an outlet for their work in ways that they perhaps hadn’t considered before and thanks to the social climate being what it is – more people are open and ready to engage with those works and appreciate the messages they contain in a way that wouldn’t have been commonplace say a decade ago.
Therefore it should come as no surprise that artists like Larissa Sansour have capitalised on science and comic books as a means to convey messages, that are both biographically significant as well as telling of social climates, to great success.
Sansour was born in East Jerusalem and having studied Fine Art in Copenhagen, London and New York now lives and works in London. Her work examines the contemporary politics of present day Israel/Palestine through the use and combination of video, photography, sculpture and installation to great effect and has appeared in prolific galleries around the world including the Tate Modern, Centre Pompidou, Louisiana Museum of Contemporary Art and MOC in Hiroshima.
The Mosaic Rooms in London have recently exhibited a collection of Sansour’s work under the title of ‘In The Future They Ate From The Finest Porcelain’, which is also the title of a 2016 film created by the artist in partnership with Danish born writer Soren Lind.
Through this exhibition’s various pieces and displays Sansour weaves a narrative steeped in science fiction trademarks to portray a dystopian world as a means of exploring what defines and contributes to a nation’s identity. Revisionist Production Line, an installation, touches on the subject of archaelogical exploration, the digging into of a nation’s past, as a means to enforce, fuel and in some cases justify modern warfare while Archaeology in Absentia, also an installation, questions the role that museums and historical collections will play in defining the same nation’s identity in the long term, how future generations will receive the information and the importance of the narrative that one generations leaves for another. The latter of these exhibitions is also tied to a recent live performance by Sansour that allows for audience interaction and involvement if they so choose.
By using a modern vessel like science fiction with such range and understanding Sansour has attained the ability to introduce a wide of range of people, from all walks of life to the idea of historical material being used for the purposes of war and the enforcement of ideals that aren’t perhaps universally approved of. A brave step to take for any artist but one that, as the exhibition and its contained works prove, can offer up the chance for artistic investigation on a truly massive scale with a wide array of possible outcomes and manifestations to choose from.
The exhibition will continue to the 20th of August 2016 at The Mosaic Rooms, Tower House, 226 Cromwell Road, London SW5 0SW.