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Daniel Arsham

Artist 203

Daniel Arsham Relics of the Future Fictional archaeology Daniel Arsham (born 1980) is an American multidisciplinary artist who combines art, architecture and performance. Daniel Arsham’s aesthetic revolves around his concept of ‘fictional archaeology’. By working in sculpture, architecture, drawing and film, he creates and crystallizes ambiguous in-between spaces or situations, and further stages what he refers to as future relics of the present. They are eroded casts of modern artifacts and contemporary human figures, which he expertly makes out of some geological material such as sand, selenite or volcanic ash for them to appear as if they had just been unearthed after being buried for ages. Always iconic, most of the objects that he turns into stone refer to the late 20th century or millennial era, when technological obsolescence unprecedentedly accelerated along with the digital dematerialization of our world.

While the present, the future and the past poetically collide in his haunted yet playful visions between romanticism and pop art, Daniel Arsham also experiments with the timelessness of certain symbols and gestures across cultures.

His latest series “Future Relic” is six years in the making and consists of nine short films that depict a future civilization before and after Earth undergoes major ecological changes. The series also includes sculptures of petrified twentieth-century media artifacts constructed to look like artifacts decaying from obsolescence.

In his “Future Relic” series (2013–2019), Daniel Arsham imagines a variety of everyday objects as archeological discoveries from a future, dystopian world. Casts of Polaroid cameras, cassette players, and mobile phones appear as eroding artifacts, illustrating how new technologies can quickly become obsolete. Along with the editioned sculptures in the series, Arsham produced multiple films about these “Future Relics” starring actors such as James Franco, Juliette Lewis, and Mahershala Ali.

I love the fragility he reveals through his art and his documentation of how we absorb popular culture. Our time is but the relics of the future. #DanielArsham #Relics #fictionalarcheology #artblog #artistoftheday #artistsoninstagram #artresearch #celebratingart #investigatingart #blog #artist #art #contemporaryart #artistbio #arthistory #artresearch Sources consulted:


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