Joshua Citarella
Left Futures

January 28 - March 12, 2021
Miami Design District
Paradise Plaza Suite 133,
151 NE 41st Street

Open Hours:
Monday - Saturday:
11am - 7pm
12pm - 6pm

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ARTIST TALK February 22nd, 2021
Following the opening of Left Futures, BFI and Bridge will presented a live-streamed climate-fiction roleplaying night, where Joshua Citarella and Holly Jean Buck, author of “After Geoengineering” (2019), will simulated a dystopian scenario game night and attempted to navigate a world of (not-so-distant) future climate collapse.

An installation view of Joshua Citarella’s exhibition titled “Left Futures”.  Inside this white gallery hangs, on the left wall, one of Citarella’s life-size photographs which shows the artist dressed in a black hooded rain jacket and black pants, standing in the rain next to a black scooter and white bus.  Citarella is also carrying a black tool box in his left hand, and staring at a red smart phone in his held up right hand.  The background of this image is a street that is gray in color and has multiple rain puddles, with a corner view of the stacked buildings alongside and above the street.  To the right of the large photograph is two large silver structures that have cut out shapes, one has a small yellow vase with pink flowers and green leaves inside of it.

During a turbulent moment of political transition, where the hypotheses in Joshua Citarella’s research-based art practice are playing out in real time, BFI and Bridge Initiative will premiere Left Futures, as part of the series “Waterproof Miami”, a curatorial partnership between the organizations. The two large-scale, life-size and hyper-detailed photographs are in part inspired by Peter Frase in his book “Four Futures: Life After Capitalism”.

In Citarella’s own words,

“Building on my previous research 20 Interviews, an in-depth survey of Gen Z online political spaces commissioned by Rhizome, these scenes visualize the futures that young political posters imagine for themselves (for better or worse). These hi-res visualizations of labor, leisure and infrastructure, itemize the material and ideological systems of speculative near future societies. They tell narratives of imminently unfolding dystopias; a collapsing empire turns its military inward, a pod-dweller is visited by his hologram fantasy, precarious gig-workers in dense cities commute through extreme weather, or --in a rare glimpse of optimism-- the skyscrapers of finance capitalism are repurposed as vertical farms.

When an unprecedented rise of right-wing ideologies took hold among online youth subcultures in 2016, I set out to find its left-wing counterpart. My practice became an extensive research project into the underbelly of online radical movements. These life-size photographic tableaux are composed of hundreds of individual images through a painstaking process of digital layering and collage. This body of work explores our current political landscape; a period of collapsing empire and withering state power, brought about by the rampant privatization of social life.”

Left Futures is a part of Waterproof Miami, a series of site-specific artists’ projects presented by BFI and Bridge Initiative developed in direct response to the environmental issues facing South Florida, planned through 2021. Each project presents an opportunity for outreach, engagement, and action. Following the opening of Left Futures, BFI and Bridge will present a live-streamed climate-fiction roleplaying night, where Joshua Citarella and Holly Jean Buck, author of “After Geoengineering” (2019), will simulate a dystopian scenario game night and attempt to navigate a world of (not-so-distant) future climate collapse.

Joshua Citarella

Joshua Citarella was born in 1987 in New York and currently lives and works in New York City. He is an adjunct professor at the Rhode Island School of Design and the School of Visual Arts. Citarella has held solo exhibitions at Higher Pictures in New York and Corcoran School of the Arts and Design in D.C. His work is included in the collections of the Stedelijk Museum, Netherlands and the Hood Museum of Art in the U.S.

This artwork is generously supported in part by a Knight Arts Challenge grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and with the support of the Andy Warhol Foundation, the Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council of Arts and Culture and the State of Florida, The Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners, and the Cowles Charitable Trust. This exhibition space has been made possible with the generous support of Miami Design District, and the artist gives a special thanks to the Peter S. Reed Foundation for their support in the previous year.