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Cityscape: The Future is Another Country

“The Future is Another Country”, Rana Öztürks’ second selection of film was screened on Saturday, 29 September, 11 am at The MAC, Belfast.
Cityscape is a selection of films looking at urban landscapes as sites of constant transformation, shifting grounds of contemporary life that is increasingly concentrated in cities across the globe chosen by MExIndex curator-in-residence Rana Öztürk in 2017.
Having lived in both Dublin and Istanbul, Öztürk has a unique knowledge and experience of very different contemporary art and urban contexts. Her selection explores the change and flux of cities and their constant destruction and reconstruction due to changing infrastructural requirements, commercial imperatives and government policies. The films examine the resulting challenges and how inhabitants and their surroundings are affected, as well as exploring the individual and the collective memory of urban landscapes.

This screening explored possible futures highlighting cities and landscapes as the physical terrains of near or distant futures.

It was part of AMINI 17, a festival of artists’ moving image works that took place in the Metropolitan Arts Centre Belfast in September 2017.

The Future is Another Country
If a future exists, does it still offer a better world than the present one? How are we to imagine the future, if what has been promised in the past has already failed and dissolved into a present full of conflicts, ecological problems, injustice and inequality? This selection of films intends to present how artists respond to these questions through the medium of film. Each film presents a different perspective, hinting at possibilities that do not override, refute, nor necessarily affirm those presented in the others. Hence, the selected group of films suggest a multiplicity of futures that cannot be articulated through a single vision.

The selection specifically focuses on cities and landscapes as the physical terrains of possible futures. These are the sites where the effects or the lack of civilization are felt and seen most. They are also the sites where greater authoritarianism and control is exerted upon everyday life of individuals and citizens as a whole, threatening a vision of a trusted future. How do we adapt to such increased control? Is it possible to contradict, defy or simply withdraw?

Some films refer to an ambiguous time that could either be the past, the present or the future. In this selection they are offered as examples of artistic envisioning of how a near or distant future might look like. This screening intends to open up these films into a larger enquiry about possible futures in line with the ambivalence of our time and uncertainties about the future.

The Future is Another Country films were:

Tom Flanagan & Megs Morley, Post-Fordlândia, 2011, 20 mins.

Kevin Gaffney, A Numbness in the Mouth, 2016, 17 mins, 32 secs.

Moira Tierney, American Dreams #5: Cruise Control, 2016, 7 mins.

Patrick Jolley, Sitting Room, 2012, 16 mins.

Louise Manifold, In Death & Fiction, 2013, 6 min.

Michelle Deignan, Ways to Speculate, 2014, 4 mins.

Published on: 17/12/2018