There are true free-thinking visionaries and artists working within the limitless sci-fi genre, from the magnificent philosophy of Isaac Asimov’s writings, to the perverse biomechanical depictions of HR Giger. Author China Miéville is a lynchpin of the staggering possibilities of the genre and beyond, and he’s at the heart of a major new art exhibition called Science Fiction: New Death. The exhibit explores how the unreal is encroaching on reality, on perception and on the self.
Miéville is the through-line between each installation, having penned a series of shorts inspired by the controversial, barmy and brilliant author JG Ballard. As expected, the texts deal with deconstruction and the dream-like surrender to the unreal, exploring the increasingly blurrier distinctions between sci-fi and reality, between what is known and the unknown. There are exiting exhibits aplenty, including explorations of fashion identity, how technology is opening new ways of living and dying, and the growth of cult-like communities.
Along with the exhibition is The Personal Archive, a tantalisingly, specially curated assortment of clips from a range of sci-fi films, TV shows, memorabilia and all manner of homemade sci-fi films. There’ll also be screenings of underrated genre gems, for the discerning sci-fi fan, including MOON and THEY LIVE. The exhibition gets better still with a residency programme with online magazine THE DOUBLE NEGATIVE, and the creation of a brand new zine by members of FACT’s Young People’s programme, Freehand.
It’s this kind of event that re-establishes what a genre can be, deconstructing its conventions and coming out with something new, something better. At the very least it’s worth a look.
The event is free and runs from 27 March – 22 June at FACT in Liverpool.
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