The Future Will Remember by Alexis Rose

 

Exhibition Details

Venue : Method Kala Ghoda

Dates : 7th July - 12th August 2024

Artist Statement

The Future Will Remember explores the construction of memory in times of tragedy, challenging the increasingly digital nature of our justice landscapes with documentation in sculptural artifacts for future ancestors. A disruption to epistimicide, an entombment of truths, millennium objects for an archive of struggle. In the language of archaeology it attempts to document aspects of current conflict to confront systems that withhold accountability or representation where history is recorded, erasure is attempted, and distortion is perpetrated.

This exhibition is an act of bearing witness and active remembrance by acknowledging 6747 individuals as confirmed by the Gaza Health Ministry in October, and the more than 36,000 unconfirmed individuals (as estimated by @eurmedhr) martyred in Gaza in the last nine months.

We traverse long time, mindful of how the future will look back on the now, and of our potential to influence how the now is constructed. Within the historically unique geo-political context of live-streaming, and the evidentiary proliferation that occurred digitally as a result of it, not only challenged our engagement in real time, but presents a challenge to the ephemeral and tactile nature of our long term archaeological records. We are challenged to transform the digital into age compatible artifacts, objects of just memory, encoded quilts and stones of data, to face these attempted erasures.

How do we honor our witnessing, the commitment to protect truth from being twisted by time, how are we prompted to scribble evidence, engrave, entomb, weave, archive, translate, record, screenshot, replay, stitch and plaster our witnessing. Where do we guard our artifacts, how do we proliferate our evidence, how can we help the future to know, to remember, what to hold dear, what not to repeat, who to hold to account.

The Future Will Remember is an invitation to engage with future knowing and present action, a living archive, in loving resistance to the memoricide of annihilatory violence.

Artifacts of Resistance

After weeks of continuously live-streamed videos of drone strikes and bloodied bodies in Gaza, sometime in mid-October 2023, US President Joe Biden said he had “no confidence in the number [of deaths] that the Palestinians are using.”

Almost immediately after, the Gaza Health Ministry–a body that the US government has historically relied on and trusted for data–issued a response: the names and personal details of 6,747 verified martyrs. This document was more than numeration; it was a list of people, grouped by family, organized by age, clarified with gender and ID, of each individual confirmed dead, not including those still left under the rubble. The release of this powerful document acted as irrefutable evidence of a collective atrocity through the recognition of individual lives taken. As entire family names were wiped from the registry, the Health Ministry could unequivocally prove each massacre, even as the media and multiple governments attempted to cast doubt.

The current death toll, rising every day, is over 43000 (via Euro-med Human Rights Monitor), though no formal list has been issued since.

Artifact Set 1 engraves the names of these first 6747 martyrs into hundreds adobe artifacts, and creates space on empty bricks to hold the names to come. Bricks are some of our species earliest and longest surviving objects, and our oldest in fact, hand formed and sun dried, have lived for 11000 years in Palestine, in the neolithic UNESCO heritage site of Tel al Sultan, in the occupied West Bank.

Artifact Set 1B is its brother, a bound printing of the list, installed within spaces for its steward to make new records, update numbers and add names, living records for archival diaspora and future allowances for story telling

 

Digital Documentations

Palestinians continue to struggle to document the violations committed against them, through videos, posts, stories, images, and recordings. Through modern algorithms and censorship, much of this is erased almost as soon as it is released. Despite this, humans across borders managed to create networks of solidarity, mutual aid, and creative innovations to work around every barrier engineered to isolate and silence.

As witnesses and creators, we are tasked to proliferate artifacts and objects to stand quietly incongruent with the disposable digital age, asked to create artifacts that can speak through time while skirting censorship and revision. How do we archive, translate, record, screenshot, replay, stitch, and guard our artifacts? How do we reseed our evidences to cultivate our justices? What do we need the future to remember?

The mutual aid record collects some of the stories, images, journeys and complexities of person to person networks of material resourcing and support posted to gofundme since October 2023, a revolutionary outpour that utilized and challenged boundaries of the fintech, border dynamics, time sensitive survival and global webs of care culture. It gathers these into an interactive fabric tablet, stark in its numeral enormity, to dive into with your device.

The social archive plays for us an instagram feed, posts and reels gathered since October 2023 to reflect and further make record of the artist’s witnessing.

Remembering Is Resistance

338 BRICKS HAVE BEEN ENGRAVED WITH THE 6747 NAMES PUBLISHED BY THE GAZA HEALTH MINISTRY.

2200 BRICKS REMAIN BLANK, HOLDING SPACE FOR FURTHER NAMES TO BE PUBLISHED.

About Alexis

Alexis is an American artist activist who immigrated to the Zapotec territory of Oaxaca, Mexico in 2019. She works in the US remotely in conservational ecology and transformative justice, and focuses her art practice in Oaxaca on sculpture and social projects like @bibliotecadesemillas.oax

Her sculpture and photography work is speculative archaeology, imaginary landscapes and artifacts of the future past, places that didn’t survive colonial cosmologies and single species monocultures, ruins of the extinction events we are currently cultivating.