The exhibition provides an opportunity to re-examine notions of utopias, African Futures and Afrofuturism from the continent and the diaspora, simultaneously calling for a re-reading and re-writing of both real and imagined narratives that aren’t constrained by time and place. Still here tomorrow to high five you yesterday will explore the different ways in which artists tackle the complexities within the concepts of progress, within post-colonial Africa.
Co-Curator, Precious Mhone explains that the exhibition points critically at the mirages, metaphors, stereotypes and matrixes of progress: “Fiction has a critical role to play in shaping imaginations and directing ideas for contemporary Africa.”
Co-Curator, Gcotyelwa Mashiqa corroborates, explaining that “the exhibition challenges notions of travel, migration and banishment through imagined and alternative realities that reference both real and unreal locations at once.”
The title of the show is taken from a quote by Pendleton Ward, the creator of the animated series Adventure Time, which is set in the post-apocalyptic magical Land of Ooo.: “This cosmic dance of bursting decadence and withheld permissions twists all our arms collectively, but if sweetness can win, and it can, then I’ll still be here tomorrow to high-five you yesterday, my friend. Peace.”
Still here tomorrow to high five you yesterday seeks to interrogate alternative physical and metaphorical spaces, letting viewers explore imagined worlds and, as one of the featured artists, Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum, puts it, the “multiple simultaneous utopianisms” within our realities.
The artists in this exhibition offer a distinct concept in which time is not linear but where past, present and future merge into one. Utopia is defined by the Greeks as “no place” and presented as the epitome of a perfect but unattainable destination. Still here tomorrow to high five you yesterday is a challenge to this concept and acts as a means of critiquing existing societies.
Derived from tropes of Afro-futuristic movement and notions of the exploration of space, the exhibition is realised in ‘Chapters’ that will unfold over the course of the exhibition, that metabolise and progress, to present a plurality of post-colonial futures. As such, Still here tomorrow to high five you yesterday shapes and shifts in the gallery, disrupting and distorting both the constructs of Utopia and Dystopia, prompting more nuanced perspectives on progression and multiple readings of its themes.
The exhibition includes a designated collective ideation space, where information and downloads can be shared and where knowledge can be reformatted. Using timelines, mind maps and archives in a working room, it presents ways of thinking about the rewriting of history and contemporary memory. This presents geographical and ideological pathways of thinking about the continent, its history in relation to constructions of fiction and nonfictional narrative making.
Kumasi Barnett Cristina de Middel
Kathrien de Villiers
Exhibition curators: Precious Mhone, Gcotyelwa Mashiqa
Zeitz MOCAA, Level 4, Silo District, V&A Waterfront | Capetown | South Africa