Ross Sawyers: The Future Isn’t What it Used to Be.
1029 W 35th St, Chicago, IL 60609
Opening Friday, October 16th, from 12PM - 7PM
On view through Friday, November 13th
This is a project about home, and the way the places we call home become stages for us to act out and be witnessed in our most intimate experiences of selfhood. These experiences are sometimes the big exaltations and micro-triumphs that occur over the course of a lifetime; the home is a space for beginnings. But more often they are linked to perceived and actual frustrations, insecurities, losses, and failures – our everyday apocalypses. People who used to think that they could count on their home and family as the epicenter of power have felt the risks that are in the air – risks levied by the inflation and crash of the housing market, climate change, overpopulation, the rise of digital technologies, and the fall of an entire economy predicated on their predecessors. Many of these individuals have become preoccupied with fortifying themselves and the people they hold dear, against the new world. At the same time, these individuals often can’t help but turn toward the more scintillating changes that are emerging: apps that proffer a home in any corner of the world; health care with the power to yield longer lives, extending families’ time together; technologies that disrupt nuclear families but connect communities of the like-minded. The Future Isn’t What It Used to Be, for me, is a reflection on the possibilities – or lack thereof – for the status quo to sustain us in the future.
Thus, home is also always about time: beginnings and endings. In fact, the title of the project, “the future isn’t what it used to be,” is meant to play with one’s understanding of how our experiences of the spaces, both real and imaginary, we grow up with affect our perceptions of the future and memories of the past. The types of homes and dramas in question play out in personal domestic spaces, but they can also evoke urban, geopolitical, or even planetary landscapes (not that any of these are ever completely discrete). This project invites reflection upon the different scales and timelines of home, as well as the varied emotional registers and resonances – longing, nostalgia, repulsion, fear, or even indifference – that I hope to evoke through my photographs.
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