Nottingham Contemporary presents an exhibition set in a possible future version of the city
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Nottingham Contemporary presents an exhibition set in a possible future version of the city
Our Silver City, 2094. Installation view at Nottingham Contemporary, 2021. Photo: Stuart Whipps.

NOTTINGHAM.- Nottingham Contemporary presents Our Silver City, 2094, an exhibition set in a possible future version of the city. Taking the form of a speculative fiction, it features major new commissions by artists Céline Condorelli, Femke Herregraven, Grace Ndiritu, and novelist Liz Jensen. It was developed using a curatorial methodology by Prem Krishnamurthy.

Our Silver City travels to the end of this century, featuring works from the last 400 million years. It is an exhibition-as-sci-fi-novel, or vice-versa.

Crossing the gallery threshold, we step into a possible future world. This world has been reshaped by decades of crisis and collapse: resource wars and evacuations, plastic-eating bacteria and flooding. Once known as Nottingham, the Silver City is set against a backdrop of fire seasons and widening waterways. Here, communities have embraced different forms of colour production, weather forecasting and spirituality.

Our Silver City is imagined as a journey unfolding across four galleries, orientated to the cardinal points. It traces a route from change to understanding, from inner knowledge to wisdom. Along the way, we encounter a selection of artefacts, remnants and artworks connecting the long 21st century with what went before. All exhibitions invite us to travel in time, but this one insists on it.

Our Silver City has been developed by the artists Céline Condorelli, Femke Herregraven and Grace Ndiritu, and the novelist Liz Jensen, in close dialogue with Prem Krishnamurthy and the Nottingham Contemporary team. It is accompanied by a new novella by Jensen, which spans six decades and is narrated from multiple viewpoints, and extends across the city via a programme developed with young people.

Our Silver City asks: How might art envision, prototype and practice new ways of being in the uncertain future? Who were “we” before we became “we”? Where are we going? And how might we get there?

New commissions include The Temple, Grace Ndiritu’s largest production to date, comprising a sculptural installation, performance and participatory programme. Inspired by indigenous sweat lodges, this circular structure is conceived as a meditative sanctuary for visitors.

Céline Condorelli presents an installation exploring the future of colour. Three huge works will fill one gallery, each made using a technology that mimics cephalopods’ ink production. This commission draws from non-human cultures as a way to offering another worldview, posing questions of presence versus representation in image-making.

Femke Herregraven’s new commission, Hot Spells, is an immersive large-scale installation that explores different forms of weather prediction and preparedness. Drawing on different forms of notation and observation, a ghostly radio station transmits Nottingham’s future voices into the ether.

The exhibition features the work of some 35 artists and contributors, including Roger Ackling, Anni Albers, Anna Barham, Adam Bletchly, Chiara Camoni, Revital Cohen and Tuur van Balen, Céline Condorelli, Isa Genzken, Femke Herregraven, Charlotte Johannesson, Hannah Catherine Jones, On Kawara, The Kindred of the Kibbo Kift, Agnieszka Kurant, Nicola L, Vivian Lynn, Angus McBean, Anthony McCall, Eline McGeorge, Sandra Mujinga, Grace Ndiritu, John Newling, B.J. Nilsen, Asad Raza, Delphine Reist, Ben Rivers, Connie Samaras, Cauleen Smith, Michael E. Smith, Jenna Sutela, Elisabeth Wild, Zara Zandieh and Andrea Zittel.

The exhibition has been developed by Céline Condorelli, Femke Herregraven, Liz Jensen, Prem Krishnamurthy and Grace Ndiritu.

Curatorial framework by Prem Krishnamurthy, who has co-curated the exhibition with Kiera Blakey, Sam Thorne, Nicole Yip and Olivia Aherne, assisted by Hannah Wallis. Young people’s programme curated by Wingshan Smith.

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