The Backwards Ahead exhibition presents a core of works from the Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Collection that relate to the concepts of time, history and testing. Through the languages of sculpture, installation and photography, the artist in the exhibition challenges the notion of linear time, on which the Western conception of history rests. This vision considers what is "forward / ahead" as a sequence of events with no return and what is "backwards" as something that can only be reconstructed through a continuous search for evidence, historical or judicial traces, which demonstrate the veracity of the events.
Within Backwards Ahead the artistic perspectives instead embrace a plural temporality, made up of anachronisms, cyclicality and multiple dimensions. In this alternate reality, some works approach history in the light of the ephemeral status of the document, others produce remakes and counterfeits, still others institute counter-trials.
The title of the exhibition is borrowed from the homonymous work by the artist Kiran Subbaiah, a closed-circuit installation that involves the visitor in a delayed control system, which overturns the space-time coordinates of those who pass through it. The works of Simon Starling and Slavs and Tatars decline time as an economic-productive cycle and as a course destined to repeat itself in an eternal loop. Liz Glynn, Goshka Macuga, Yinka Shonibare deal with material culture, institutional politics and the construction of cultural identity, through the copying, falsification and re-enactment of the past. Paul Graham, June Crespo, Josh Kline, Andra Ursuţa adopt a forensic register, pursue clues and evidence, finally expose or perform the paradoxical functions of the control and disciplinary bodies.
Through the various perspectives, the works presented in Backwards Ahead trace circular and oblique motions, advance and recede. In this continuous movement, they make the passage of time reversible, notify appeals and sentences, reimagine the balance of power between oppressor and oppressor.