Darren Waterston is completing a new series of paintings called Remote Futures that will be exhibited this fall at DC Moore Gallery in New York. I am working on an essay for the accompanying publication. The paintings are incredible scenes with architectural ruins and crystalline shapes combined with biological forms that show worlds in flux, inhabited by an amalgam of familiar and unrecognizable references.
The German philosopher Ernst Bloch theorizes about the articulation of a better life in the vast artistic and cultural production that we put into the world. Painting and poetry as well as design and film, for example, are projections of fantasies and longings—hope—for a different future. His philosophy recognizes our fragmented and incongruent life under capital, which cannot be easily interpreted through a single ideological lens. And, for Bloch, these projections are anticipations of something else that is not easily defined.
Paintings in the series Remote Futures are scenes that do not necessarily propose utopic visions based on Marxist or any kind of ideology. Instead, like Bloch, they turn toward the future where the act of creation is not a singular defined beginning, but an ongoing state of becoming, multiplicity and transition. This fragmentation reflects our contemporary life, especially today as we scurry about working alone together in cafés, offices and studios in disparate geographic locations connected (but actually disconnected) through digital technologies.