Ancient History of the Distant Future

In conversation with artworks from PAFA’s permanent collection, thirteen contemporary artists look at history to find new meaning in the present, in this collaborative exhibition from PAFA and the KADIST art foundation.

A collaboration between Joseph del Pesco, International Director of KADIST and PAFA’s Curator of Contemporary Art, Jodi Throckmorton, Ancient History of the Distant Future will take place in PAFA’s Historic Landmark Building. Contemporary artworks will be interspersed with PAFA’s historic collection and will point back—critically, quotationally, or inspirationally—to historical artworks, particularly those that find new relevance in the present or play temporal tricks. The artists in this exhibition consider the possibility of art to speak to history at-large, as a strange and evolving field of thought, not just art history. History can act as an allegory, addressing (directly or abstractly, depending on the work) larger social or political forces, and the very notion that history itself, however seemingly an assembly of concrete fragments, is subject to a bizarre confluence of forces, full of contradictions and fiction.

Artists in the exhibition include Lawrence Abu HamdanMatthew Buckingham, Cassils, Enrique Chagoya, Minerva Cuevas, Alex Da Corte, Cynthia Daignault, Mario Garcia Torres, General IdeaMungo Thomson, Adrián Villar Rojas, and Carla ZaccagniniLenka Clayton and Phillip Andrew Lewis.

KADIST, a non-profit organization dedicated to exhibiting the work of artists represented in its collection, encourages this engagement and affirms contemporary art’s relevance within social discourse. Its programs develop collaborations with artists, curators, and many art organizations around the world, facilitating new connections across cultures. Local programs in KADIST’s hubs of Paris and San Francisco include exhibitions, public events, residencies, and educational initiatives. Complemented by an active online network, they aim at creating vibrant conversations about contemporary art and ideas. This is KADIST’s first collaboration in Philadelphia.