Speculating about the future does not suspend the present. Rather, it intensifies it. (One really should know where they are before they engage in conjecture.) But what of the present—the now—retroactively reconfigured as the future? Time, for me, has never felt linear. It hops, drags, even bites its own ass on occasion. Strangely, in these moments of suspension, I am antipathetically lucid: hence the theme of this issue, Future Perfect, a prefigured shift in tense. With this fluid topic in mind, I set out to find a co-editor with a similarly ambivalent attitude toward linearity, only to realize that the perfect candidate for such an exercise was already known to me. I met curator Raimundas Malašauskas by chance last year while we were both working on freelance projects in Mexico City.
The more I learned about Malašauskas’ work, the more impressed I was with his ability to engage in heady curatorial projects in a witty, oblique and yet unpretentious manner. During his tenure as a curator at the Contemporary Art Centre (CAC) in Vilnius, Malašauskas began an investigation of “eventology,” the speculative generation of new ideas channeled through the past. He once hired a psychic to conduct a séance with Fluxus founder George Maciunas, delivered a lecture in which he forwarded telepathic messages from Robert Barry to Jonathan Monk and is currently involved in the elaborate 419-style e-mail scam, The John Fare Estate. As Malašauskas continues to add to the lexicon of art history, each chapter will inevitably be reviewed with a slight tilt of the head—an angle I find appealingly subversive. His contribution to Art Lies, subtitled 50.01, unpacks from the center of the book and unfurls into a sort of pliable funhouse mirror, conflating past, present and future in texts, images, insertions and projects by Goda Budvytyte, Heman Chong, Mariana Castillo Deball, Gintaras Didžiapetris, Ryan Gander, Morten Norbye Halvorsen, Larissa Harris, Gabriel Lester, Benoît Maire, David Reinfurt and Aaron Schuster.
Artists Dennis Balk, Eileen Maxson, Gean Moreno, Eric Zimmerman and curators Regine Basha and Gilbert Vicario all further this speculative venture. Balk and Moreno’s eerie graphic novella, Maxson’s clever handling of a delicate situation-to-come (passing her crown to the next Arthouse Texas Prize recipient), Zimmerman’s lovely Utopian landscapes and Basha’s VISUAL SPACE project all mesh with this issue’s theme. Finally, the introduction to Gilbert Vicario’s interview with Roberta Smith, this year’s speaker at The Art Lies Annual Critics Lecture Series, appears here in print and continues online at www.artlies.org—a teaser if you will—another subtle reminder of things to come.
Anjali Gupta, Editor