I Never Promised You a Dystopia

3 mins read

Kilkenny County Council Arts Office presents

I Never Promised You a Dystopia curated by Aoife Banks

as part of their Emerging Curator in Residence Programme 2021


6th – 19th Dec

Exhibition online at:   https://artspaces.kunstmatrix.com/node/8680327


Virtual Event: Jesse Jones in Conversation with Annie Jael Kwan

Weds 8th Dec


Accessible online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/in-conversation-jesse-jones-and-annie-jael-kwan-tickets-218915461037?aff=erelexpmlt
This is a ticketed event. Please book your free ticket via the link above.


I Never Promised You a Dystopia is a virtual group exhibition that explores speculative futurisms with a focus on queer, feminist, and anti-capitalist ideologies. This exhibition features work by Bassam Al-Sabah, Kevin Gaffney, Jesse Jones, Vera Klute, and Doireann O’Malley.

Covid-19 has disrupted the perceptual world from a place of familiarity to that of a foreign landscape. We still see the world in terms of its old familiarity, but it is at the same time alienating as we are no longer able to interact with it in the habitual, effortless manner characteristic of the pre-pandemic world we inhabited. The reorienting of self in space and the shifting of perception that has occurred as a result of the pandemic has irrevocably altered our phenomenological experience of the world and how we perceive it.  Our perspective of the world has been altered, but what do we make of it? Can we harness this newfound way of seeing and experiencing to reassess the world that we live in? Speculative futurism posits theories and potentialities for the world to come. Through the thinking of potential futures a temporal shift occurs within us; we engage in an act of time travel.  I Never Promised You a Dystopia sees future ideologies in the present and makes them tangible in the here and now. 

I Never Promised You a Dystopia is the third and final installment in a three-part curatorial project that explores the shifting of perspectives in three chapters: Past, Present, and Future. Positioning othered voices to the fore and providing new lenses with which to view our world, each exhibition focuses on an artist or artists whose work teases out alternative histories, hidden narratives, and speculative futures.

This exhibition is part of Kilkenny County Council Arts Office’s ‘Emerging Curator in Residence Programme’. This programme is enabling Aoife Banks to gain direct experience in the field of curating exhibitions for the Arts Office in Kilkenny. This opportunity provides Aoife with the platform to further develop her career, expand her artistic and creative networks, and avail of a mentoring programme with curator Eamonn Maxwell.


This exhibition is supported by the Arts Council of Ireland and the works featured are from their Collection

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