Emma Kay
The Future From Memory
21 February 2001 – 1 April 2001
Opening: Wednesday 21 February

The Future From Memory is a major new commission by British artist Emma Kay. The work takes the form of a digitally animated text projection that describes the future of the world, according to the artist's memory. The Future From Memory combines fact and fiction; the text that forms the work is culled from the collective domains of civilization. Any realm that describes an idea of the future – from science to spirituality, culture to economics – is co-opted into Kay's vision.

Realised with Flash animation software, Kay's commission at Chisenhale is a vast, rolling series of predictive packages, moving into the distance Star Wars-style. However, far removed from sci-fi visions of cinematic grandeur, the work is realised through thoroughly minimal means, whilst negotiating the pros and cons of holo-entertainment, tissue regeneration and dodo-cloning.

Kay's recent work has dealt with individual memory in a range of media and across a divergence of major subjects: The World From Memory is a series of hand drawn maps; The Bible From Memory is realised as a 7,000 word text; Shakespeare From Memory attempts the reconstruction of each of the writer's plays; and Worldview, an 80,000-word text describing the history of the world, is also published in book form.

British artist Emma Kay received her M.A. from Goldsmiths College in 1997. She is known for her text-based works examining the subjective nature of knowledge and memory, and the systems we use to perceive, store and access bodies of knowledge. Selected exhibitions include: The Story of Art, The Power Plant, Toronto, (2003); Tate Modern, London (2003); Armand Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2001); ARS 01, Kiasma, Helsinki (2001); The British Art Show 5, Hayward Gallery, London (2000); the Istanbul Biennial (1999).

Click here for the accompaning publication to this exhibtion in the shop.

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Emma Kay

ISBN 1 901066 053
Published by the Chisenhale Gallery, London 2001
Paperback, b/w illustrations, pp 31
Essay by Jan Verwoert

This publication marks the production and inaugural presentation of the Future from Memory, a new work commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery and the first solo exhibition of work by Emma Kay in a public gallery.
Drawing upon and combining Kay’s recollection of assorted facts and fictions, The Future from Memory describes a personal prediction for the future of the world. The highly subjective and fallible text embraces a range of subject matter that prompts some respect for Kay’s breadth of knowledge. It has the distinctively authoritative tone of a significant historical document.
The development and presentation of The Future from Memory as digital animation takes Kay’s practice into new territory. The animation releases the text in fragments, controlling the amount of text that can be seen at any one time, and profoundly influencing the way the work can be viewed or read. The specific experience of the viewer is affected by the fact that the constantly moving words cannot be retrieved or revisited as they roll onto the distance; by the next time they come around the world has moved on.
Through its programme of new commissions, Chisenhale aims to engage and support artists in their testing of boundaries to develop new work. The Future from Memory represents a significant departure within Emma Kay’s practice and it has been a great pleasure to be closely involved in this realisation.

Tamsin Dillon
Curator, Chisenhale Gallery
March 2001

For more information about the exhibition please click here.

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  • Exhibition
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    For media enquiries please contact:
    media@chisenhale.org.uk or
    Ellen Greig on +44 (0)20 3328 1964 or ellen.greig@chisenhale.org.uk