David Tomas
This is Tomorrow, 2014
Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal
22.10.14 – 04.01.15

David Tomas’s installation This is Tomorrow focuses on the recent auction sale of two display panels designed by the British pop artist Richard Hamilton for Man, Machine, Motion, an exhibition held at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London in 1955, in order to raise questions about the future form of the artwork in the context of a global art system and market economy.

The installation is titled after another canonical 1950s exhibition to which Hamilton contributed. In it, Tomas superimposes the two exhibitions’ idealistic celebration of the future with the display logic of the contemporary auction house, redeploying the layout used to promote the recent sale of the panels. This is Tomorrow analyses Hamilton’s panels and their message from the viewpoint of their circulation in a system quite distinct from the one in which they were originally designed to function. Both the online and printed catalogue entries for the panels are reproduced on intense blue canvases, a cellular bookcase holds auction and exhibition catalogues, a research table allows visitors to consult documents and an audio component broadcasts the sale of the panels. In mining the specific trajectory of Hamilton’s vision of a post-1950s future, the installation explores the future of all artworks in a world determined by a global mobility predicated on the auction process.
– LJ

Left to right: David Tomas, Lot 232, 2014, and Lot 231, 2014, inkjet print on canvas, 121.92 x 121.92 x 5.8 cm, details of This is Tomorrow, 2014, installation: 9 mounted inkjet on canvas prints, cellular bookcase, speaker and electronics, 3.65 x 7.3152 x 6.096 m (courtesy of the artist)
Left to right: David Tomas, Lot 232, 2014, and Lot 231, 2014, inkjet print on canvas, 121.92 x 121.92 x 5.8 cm, details of This is Tomorrow, 2014, installation: 9 mounted inkjet on canvas prints, cellular bookcase, speaker and electronics, 3.65 x 7.3152 x 6.096 m (courtesy of the artist)
Biography

Born in 1950 in Montréal, David Tomas is an artist and anthropologist whose works explore forms of knowledge produced at the interface of the history of contemporary art, the history and anthropology of media, and the cultures and transcultures of imaging technologies. He has presented works at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff; Vancouver Art Gallery; PS1, New York; California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles; San Francisco State University; ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany; Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna; Vereinigung Bildender Kunstler Wiener Secession, Vienna; Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, Germany; ELAC, Lyon; Aorta, Amsterdam; and the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, Amman. In 19941995 he was appointed Mellon Fellow in Contemporary Arts Criticism at the California Institute of the Arts; he was Visiting Research Fellow at Goldsmiths College, University of London in 1997; and he was awarded the Claudia De Hueck Fellowship in Art and Science at the National Gallery of Canada in 20012002. Tomas is the author of five books, including Vertov, Snow, Farocki: Machine Vision and the Posthuman (2013), Live rightly, die, die… (2012) and Escape Velocity: Alternative Instruction Prototype for Playing the Knowledge Game (2012). He lives in Montréal and teaches at the School of Visual and Media Arts, Université du Québec à Montréal. 

davidtomas.org

CURRENT EXHIBITION: STUDY FOR THIS IS TOMORROW II