A quiet ‘future shock’ across from the Whitney

Photo for The Villager

Christine Sun Kim’s “Too Much Future” has graced the side of 95 Horatio St. — at the corner of Gansevoort and Washington Sts. — across from the Whitney Museum of American Art, since the end of January.

It’s the seventh work to be presented in the space in an ongoing series of exhibitions by the Whitney. The project is a collaboration between the Whitney, High Line Art and TF Cornerstone, the owners of 95 Horatio St.

Kim often combines references to the body, musical notation, written language and American Sign Language. Here, she pairs text with a rendering of the sign for the word “future” in ASL. Typically, the sign for “future” is illustrated as a thin line. This mimics the hand as it moves away from the face in two arching gestures.

The artist reimagines that line as a thick black mass in order to indicate multiple meanings — literal, conceptual and emotional — that can be projected onto the word. For Kim, the same unpredictability that can make the future a source of anxiety can also create a sense of optimism.

“Giving too much thought to the future can be overwhelming, especially in an uncertain political climate,” she explained. But to do so, she added, can also offer a reminder “that there are a wide variety of positive futures for everybody to dive into.”

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