Stefan Cammeraat – Futurists without Prospects – part 1/3

Opening: 16 January, 20 – 24 hrs

17 January – 21 February 2016
Thu-Sun, 14-18 hrs

In 2016 P/////AKT is starting a new program: the P/////AKTPOOL. It allows young and talented artists, who have graduated from one of the Dutch academies in 2015, an opportunity to develop and showcase their practice in the course of six months, supported by the P/////AKT-team. Each year two top talents are invited to organise three consecutive presentations in the tower-annex, next to the main exhibition space. These presentations run simultaneously to the main program. The first Talent is Stefan Cammeraat, who graduated from the HKU in the summer of 2015.

Stefan Cammeraat mainly uses historical sources for his work, especially of the kind that has been attributed with a prophetic character. He discloses these materials from their archives and translates them into the present time which is dominated by media and subject to constant renewal. More specifically he abuses the material by putting it in juxtaposition with science-fiction: “What if?”. His works are actually fictional updates of historical matter, given a new role within current society.

Many of the works that he is referring to date back to the beginning of the 20th century, a period when a sincere utopian longing played an important role in artistic production. This longing takes on a different meaning when such ideologies are placed into a time that denounces them as failed or unrealistic, while they might also be finally within our reach. A time which demands ethical decisions concerning robotics and genetic engineering might well benefit from a revaluation of these ‘outdated’ visions of the future.

Futurists Without Prospects is developed especially for the P/////AKTPOOL. Cammeraat is currently working on a publication, Crash, which will function as a red thread for the individual presentations. It takes the mythical car crash of the futurist Filippo Tommaso Marinetti as a vantage point, which is given a new future by a simple addition. This addition, fictional yet realistic, is based on the notion that one Ettore Angelini, the mechanic who was in the car with Marinetti at the time of the accident, was specialised in restoring cars with the aid of the many publications and manifests that the futurists were producing. Crash is a fictional history that will both deploy and abuse the improbability of the original event.

Cammeraats three presentations in the context of the P/////AKTPOOL will add to the simultaneously produced publication by translating it into the three-dimensional. The first edition functions as an introduction that will manifest itself as a futuristic waiting room (futurists don’t like to wait). Even futurists without prospects need to have something to do.