Onassis Cultural Centre, Athens, Greece
Opening in summer 2017, major Barbican exhibition Into the Unknown: A Journey through Science Fiction is a genre-defining exploration of one of popular culture’s most celebrated realms. Featuring work not yet shown in the UK – including original objects and artwork from The Paul G. Allen Family Collection– concept art and models from films Godzilla, Stargate and Dark City; and original manuscripts from iconic authors such as Jules Verne – this unprecedented show encompasses music, film and contemporary art to present a new, global perspective on science fiction.
Contemporary artists such as Soda_Jerk and Eija-Liisa Ahtila will feature in the show alongside new commissions from designers including Territory Studio, who draw upon their motion graphics work for The Martian (2015). More than 200 books from around the world, as well as iconic film clips, pulps, adverts, comics, posters and robots, will also be on display.
Into the Unknown will be organised into four key chapters – Extraordinary Voyages, Space Odysseys, Brave New Worlds and Final Frontiers – that will each explore classic narratives of the genre in new ways.
Neil McConnon, Head of Barbican International Enterprises, said: "Science fiction has enjoyed a fascinating transition from niche to pop culture in recent years but still evokes strong emotions in many. We were keen to develop an exhibition that presents a new take on this broad genre by encompassing a variety of art forms. We hope it will appeal to everyone from science fiction aficionados to sceptics and all those in between.”
Patrick Gyger, Curator, said: “Science fiction is responsible for some of the world’s most iconic film, music, literature and art. Today, the interaction between digital, virtual and physical spheres further blurs the boundaries between it and our current reality. From 19th century cabinets of curiosities to cyberpunk, Into the Unknown takes a fresh and at times subversive look at the new territories, lost worlds, cosmic possibilities and virtual universes that traverse the broadest parameters of human imagination and yet are often instantly relatable.”
Created and produced by Barbican International Enterprises – the team behind the Barbican’s successful Digital Revolution (2014) which attracted 93,000 visitors to the Centre before embarking on an international tour where it was the Tekniska Museet in Stockholm’s most successful show to date (260,000 visitors) – Into the Unknown will showcase works from major collections, national archives, film studios and private collections around the world. These include Paramount Archives, The Ray & Diana Harryhausen Foundation, Warner Bros. Corporate Archive, Weta Workshop and the personal archives of SFX artist Patrick Tatopoulos. It will be brought to life with an immersive exhibition design by Ab Rogers (ARD).
Part of the Barbican’s 2017 Film in Focus programme – a year celebrating the power of the moving image and its influence across the arts – the exhibition will be accompanied by cross-arts programming including four science fiction inspired performances from techno-pioneer Jeff Mills; and the first Barbican Outdoor Cinema, which will screen cult films including Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey in the shadow of the Barbican’s dystopian towers. A dedicated exhibition catalogue will also be available.
Co-produced by Brandts - Museum of Art & Visual Culture, Denmark and Onassis Cultural Centre, Greece, the exhibition will subsequently be staged at both venues, before embarking on an international tour.