Ed Atkins, Emma Hart, Naheed Raza and Corin Sworn were picked last summer, as the first recipients of The Jerwood/Film and Video Umbrella Awards.
These awards (consisting of a £4,000 bursary, including production support from Film and Video Umbrella) were given to each artist to develop proposals for a ‘project for the future’ – providing a platform to move their practice forward (and highlight where their thoughts are heading), while also reflecting on ideas and images of ‘the future’ and how they resonate in the present.
These pilot projects are about to be revealed in the exhibition Tomorrow Never Knows, curated by Film and Video Umbrella and Jerwood Visual Arts and taking place at Jerwood Space, London from 14 March to 22 April 2012.
During the exhibition run, two of the featured artists will each be awarded a £20,000 commission to continue and complete their projects. The finished works will then premiere at Jerwood Space in early 2013 before travelling to CCA (Centre for Contemporary Art) in Glasgow.
The exhibition theme reflects both on our appetite for making predictions, and on the uncertainties of ‘futurology’. As well as a showcase of artists for whom a bright future can confidently be anticipated, the exhibition considers the theme of ‘futures past’. Casting its mind back to moments in history when a particular style or aesthetic was deemed to be the wave of the future, it will remind us of tomorrows that never quite happened, whilst also revisiting and re-appraising some of that untapped potential.
The speculative, future-oriented nature of the initiative is further elaborated in two specially commissioned texts by writers Martin Herbert and Paul Morley, which feature in an accompanying publication. Alert to our increasingly complex, ambiguous feelings about what tomorrow might hold (its promise overshadowed by growing senses of stasis or uncertainty), they identify a culture-wide nostalgia for futures past, or futures lost, while invoking the challenges, and the pleasures, of continuing to look and think ahead.
Jerwood Visual Arts (JVA) is a contemporary gallery programme of awards, exhibitions and events at Jerwood Space, London, and on tour nationally. JVA supports and showcases the work of talented emerging artists, and aims to make connections and provoke conversations within and across visual arts disciplines. JVA is a major initiative of the Jerwood Charitable Foundation. www.jerwoodvisualarts.