Daniel Arsham: the future was then
SCAD museum of art, savannah, georgia
now through july 24, 2016
Within SCAD museum of art’s Pamela Elaine Poetter gallery, Daniel Arsham responds to the structure of the site with a 300 foot ‘wall excavation’ as part of the exhibition ‘the future was then’. Arsham surveys the interaction between man and architecture — particularly human’s capacity for creating, destroying and repurposing the manmade and natural world — by digging through a series of faux-concrete walls. Beginning with a crudely cut, abstract aperture, the repeated sequence of carvings finally becomes the silhouette of a human figure.
As visitors engage directly with their surroundings and walk through the immersive excavation, Arsham’s previous sculptural works serve as a continual backdrop within each of the intimate rooms. This transformative encounter that visitors experience conjures the notion of progress, particularly in relationship to mankind’s growing ability to manipulate its surroundings. ‘the future was then’ simultaneously comments on and condenses the timeline of civilization, forming an experiential moment for visitors to reflect on their own personal place within it.