Science Fictions

It’s said that science fiction says more about the time it was created than the future (or past) it envisages. Think of the ‘classic’ age of sci-fi storytelling during the Cold War space race, or the many tales of menacing artificial intelligence during this dawn of the digital age. The following artworks delve into science fiction’s fantastical visions of the future to offer up their own intriguing metaphors for contemporary life.

Eduardo Paolozzi

Eduardo Paolozzi 5. Will man outgrow the earth 1972. Art Gallery of New South Wales, purchased 2002. © Sir Eduardo Paolozzi/DACS. Licensed by Copyright Agency

Futures past: visions of space exploration in 1952 re-presented in 1972.

Tiger Yaltangki Doctor Who 2016. Art Gallery of New South Wales, Wendy Barron Bequest Fund 2016. © Tiger Yaltangki, courtesy Iwantja Arts. Licensed by Copyright Agency

Aṉangu culture takes a journey with TV’s favourite time lord.

Yinka Shonibare

Yinka Shonibare Alien toy painting 2011. Art Gallery of New South Wales, Tony Gilbert Bequest Fund 2012. © Yinka Shonibare, MBE

Heed Yoda’s counsel: ‘Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger; anger leads to hate; hate leads to suffering.’

Emily Floyd

Emily Floyd Kesh alphabet 2017. Art Gallery of New South Wales, Atelier and Contemporary Collection Benefactors 2016. © Emily Floyd

Sculptural reimaginings of a post-apocalyptic language via Ursula K Le Guin.

Eko Nugroho

Eko Nugroho Lot lost 2013–15. Art Gallery of New South Wales, purchased with funds provided by the Neilson Foundation and Dr Dick Quan 2015. © Eko Nugroho

Warning! Warning! (Permen & politik mengandung pemanis buatan = Mints and politics both contain artificial sweetener).

Patricia Piccinini

Patricia Piccinini Psychotourism 1996. Art Gallery of New South Wales, Viktoria Marinov Bequest Fund 1999. © Patricia Piccinini

Blade runner beauty cradles LUMP™ (Lifeform with Unevolved Mutant Properties).

Eduardo Paolozzi

Eduardo Paolozzi Computer – epoch 1967. Art Gallery of New South Wales, gift of Edron Pty Ltd – 1995 through the auspices of Alistair McAlpine. © Sir Eduardo Paolozzi/DACS. Licensed by Copyright Agency

Paolozzi’s computer age musing: ‘Each epoch is the static instantaneous picture of a process. This represents a standstill of becoming; not a static end, a condition of pluralism.’