Temple of Futures Thinking

By Avenir Institute, June 17 – July 2

Opening June 16, 19.00 with a lecture-performance “Futures: plural, queer & rhizomatic”

The future is a pastiche of relational and extrapolative images of expectations, desires and fears. Avenir Institute was founded in summer 2015 with the mission of exploring the questions on potentialities in possible futures. This was a gesture towards challenging the prevailing linear thinking in philosophy, politics, technology and arts.

As a summary of the think tank’s transdisciplinary researches between 2015 and 2016, Avenir Institute presents the total installation Temple of Futures Thinking. The political theologist Carl Schmitt argued about the nature of political as inherently religious. The belief in the sacred nature of the non-visualisable notions of ‘social contract’ or ‘democracy’ is quite proximate to the assurance in life after death, the existence of karma and so forth. Why then to settle for a limited one-dimensionality of monotheistic and autocratic teachings of the books?

The Temple of Futures Thinking is critical: it does not offer answers on the eternal questions, but it twists the processes of reflection about their roots. Knowledges are infinitely plural as are the possible interpretations of thinking patterns. Just like in Ancient Greek mythology, the literal is poetic and the poetic is literal. It is the superposition of human intellectual and emotional intelligence. The total installation consists of 7 brass mind maps with the core terms for contemporary futures thinking introduced by the Institute, the lectureperformance “The Epistemology of Border”, which digs critically in the nature of enclosed systemic thinking, and the publication “Against the Future”.

In the midst of the socio-political search for a new modernity, triggered by the perceived collapse of the postmodern promise, and the settling for the convenient refuge in nostalgia, we offer a focus on futures thinking as the way to replace the blind simplicity with a beautiful and multidimensional complexity. If we are anthropologically inclined to believe in something, let it be the belief in the limitlessness of human potentiality.

Shtager Gallery moved from the cultural capital of Russia, St Petersburg, to one of the global art capitals, London, the UK, in 2017. Founder of the gallery Marina Shtager has been working in professional art world since 2006 in the roles of director and curator. She founded Shtager Gallery in 2014. Elephant & Castle is an experimental art space conceived by Shtager Gallery in cooperation with Morris & Associates in 2017.