Our Silver City, 2094

This is an exhibition. It’s set in Nottingham near the end of the 21st century.

This possible future world has been reshaped by decades of onslaughts: resource wars, evacuations, plastic-eating viruses, collapses. Our forested city grows against a backdrop of fire seasons and widening waterways. Yet here, communities have embraced different forms of kinship, rituals, ways of listening and spiritualities. Housed in the building that was once called Nottingham Contemporary, this particular presentation marks its recent reopening as a cultural institute.

Based on a methodology created by Prem Krishnamurthy, this exhibition takes the form of speculative fiction, or a process of collaborative world-building. It has been developed over the last two years by artists – Céline Condorelli, Femke Herregraven, Grace Ndiritu – and the novelist Liz Jensen, working in dialogue with Krishnamurthy and the Nottingham Contemporary team. Its language and texture draw upon conversations across Nottingham, with school children, climate scientists and geographers. The project also extends throughout our building and into the city via a programme developed with young people.

The presentation itself is conceived as a journey, a form of performative architecture. It uses the cardinal points as signposts between four interlocking spaces, moving from change and understanding to inner knowledge and transmission. Encounters will include a ghostly radio station, a temple inspired by spiritual technologies and an environment of chromatic communication. A fragmentary chronology – including a selection of remnants, artefacts and artworks – connects the long 21st century with the last million years.

All exhibitions ask us to travel in time, but this one insists upon it. Our Silver City asks: How might visual culture be produced, displayed and experienced in the future? Who were ‘we’ before we became ‘we’? Where are we going now? And how might we get there?

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