The exhibition “Futures”


The exhibition “Futures”

04.04.2023 - 31.12.2024 / MSU, 2. kat

The two main views of the future are often mutually exclusive; the first is based on progressive advancement and growth, while the other one sees this advancement and growth as a threat to the planet and all living beings. Already from these different views, we can conclude that the future before us is not a single one; rather, there are several possible futures and hence, we do not speak of a “future,” but rather of the “futures.” 

By presenting prominent Croatian and international artists of the 20th century, the exhibition “Futures” challenges the ideas and visions of the future which have been developing in art from the 1960s until the present day. Croatian artists gathered around the New Tendencies movement connected art, science and technology with the then idea of a progressive socialist society. This was also embraced by international artists who exhibited as part of New Tendencies, thereby showing their interest in Yugoslavia and their trust in the new, self-governing system.

The second half of the exhibition mostly presents contemporary works that take on an active attitude towards the future. The necessity of mending the relationship towards nature as well as social relations, damaged by constant progress and growth, is accentuated. Deceleration and degrowth are the two conditions for having any future at all. However, the alternatives often also grow, merely serving the progress of the “First World” while based on the exploitation of the people and the country, exclusion, patriarchy, annihilation of animal species, and the (post)colonialism of the Western world.

These artworks primarily testify of changes in the social imaginarium – from ideas and values of modernity, based on the logic of progress and development, to caring for the community and the planet, all the way to the awareness of mutual interdependency and necessity of self-organisation.

In lieu of despair accompanying the different dystopian visions of the future – which is more or less justified when facing the growing environmental crisis, wars in Europe and across the world, and the unresolved refugee crisis – this exhibition seeks to raise awareness of the importance of our active role in salvaging our own future.

The exhibition “Futures” is set up in the hall and the first floor of the Museum, which have been spatially and architecturally reorganised for this purpose. This exhibition also presents a new, open space of the Museum, which now enables the visitors to encounter the masterpieces from the Museum holdings – the major and important works of contemporary art of Croatia and the world – at the very entrance.