Daniel Arsham’s Remember the Future is anchored by a gray mountain of hundreds upon hundreds of pop culture artifacts cast from volcanic ash, obsidian, quartz and glacial rock. Yet colorful, not-so-distant memories stir as the viewer circles the heap and notices boom boxes, video game controllers, keyboards, cameras, turntables, guitars, film reels and videotapes. Arsham also explores the idea of the past, present and future occupying a single space in what he calls “fictional archaeologies.” Nature and architecture compete and collaborate as Arsham builds “a perfect ruin.”
With a nod to the history of Easter Island, ancient Greek sculpture and the calcified bodies of Pompeii, Arsham has sat for hours covered in plaster to form full-body molds that are then covered with ages-old marble and black glass sourced from demolished buildings.
Hands raised and heads bowed, the figures appear disoriented and contemplative, as if they’re visitors from the past awakening in the present. Or perhaps they are comrades from today sent to a lonely future. A possible scenario plays out in the artist’s short film Future Relic 02, starring James Franco as an archivist.
Through Aug. 30. $7.50; $5.50 educators/students/seniors. Contemporary Arts Center, 44 E. Sixth St., Downtown, contemporaryartscenter.org.