FUTURE SENSITIVE is a solo exhibition of short films, soft sculptures, and kinetic installations by the filmmaker and body architect, Lucy McRae, recently presented in Honor Fraser Gallery, in Los Angeles, United States.
Lucy McRae’s genre bending, science fiction films and installations gesture to a speculative, not-so-distant future where advanced genetic engineering will enable humans to be grown in laboratories outside of the womb. The exhibition spot-lights McRae’s dynamic capacity for world-building and brings together a selection of her recent projects to ask how future technologies of design will fundamentally alter entrenched notions of human intimacy, reproduction, spirituality, and wellness. Can our technologies be more than a quick fix, and instead help us find strength in our imperfections? Can sensitivity be a guiding principle as we dream about the future? FUTURE SENSITIVE cultivates these questions and asks us to trust in the unknown as we pioneer new aesthetics, new stories, and new ways of being together in the world.
FUTURE SENSITIVE spills across the galleries at Honor Fraser with the uncanny patina of a world not quite our own,and yet one hauntingly familiar. For the first time in North America, McRae’s films are exhibited within an installation ofsculptures, machines, and other speculative designs used during filming and production. The exhibition marks a sig-nificant milestone in the artist’s internationally distinguished career, and debuts the world premiere of two short films,FUTUREKIN (2022) and DELICATE SPELLS OF MIND (2022). Visitors to the gallery are invited to explore the instal-lation as protagonists in McRae’s future world, using the artworks as scaffolding for their own embodied contemplation.In this post-human landscape, already existing “low-tech” and industrial materials—vacuum cleaners, roller skate wheels,camping equipment, blow-up fans, construction straps, and plastic tarps—are reconfigured into Sci-Fi objects for futuresurvival. Hanging nets, gymnasium-like floor coverings, and other subtle architectural interventions mimic the calculatedcompositions that McRae uses within her films, and guide visitors towards an increased awareness of their own bodiesas they interact with the speculative material.
The three films on display, FUTUREKIN, DELICATE SPELLS OF MIND, and INSTITUTE OF ISOLATION (2016), arefuturistic renderings of daily life that are both spectacular in their banality and brazen in their examination of human hard-wiring. Adorned in the industrial exoskeletons of future fashion, specters of our future selves are momentarily caught in acts of labor, vulnerability, and reciprocity. The three films forecast an already evolving human spirit and chart these changes across collective networks as well as individual actors.
McRae appears in each film as a conduit betweenworlds. At times she moves freely, even with authority, but at others she is made immobile and subject to the generosityand care of those around her. As a character in her own thought experiment, McRae’s fluctuating subjectivity invites usto reconsider the solution-oriented rhetoric that dominates the discourse of technological innovation, and in so doing,champions messy models of solidarity over the rigid rubrics of technological perfection.