Postage and Packing Free - Futureland Now foregrounds the part contemporary photography plays in reflecting on the dramatic refocusing of Western economies from manufacturing and extraction to service industries and finance.
publication date: October 2012
In 1989, John Kippin and Chris Wainwright staged the innovative exhibition Futureland at the Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle. It toured widely in the UK and overseas. Over two decades later, the photographers have returned to their original location, continuing to question the post industrial, photographic aesthetics and the ‘industrial sublime’.
Futureland Now catalogues their imagery, which addresses contemporary social issues, while referencing unresolved lessons of the past. Their photographic landscapes invoke the language of the sublime to explore the current post-industrial period of uncertainty and, potentially, seismic change. Nationwide, comparisons have been drawn between the 1980s and Britain’s current economic climate. Bleak employment prospects caused by a world recession have created a likelihood of many years of uncertainty as governments wrestle with debt and instability. As previously, much of this shift is felt in the North of England as the region fulfils its historic role as the vanguard indicator for the rest of Britain. In timely fashion, Futureland Now both the exhibition and the publication, offers a catalyst for engaging debate and the chance to reflect on critical art practices.
Futureland Now includes essays by Liz Wells and Mike Crang as well as an extensive ‘in conversation’ between John Kippin and Chris Wainwright.