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On View | Past, Future or Alien by Nathan Reese/ The New York Times T Magazine

FEBRUARY 7, 2014, 2:22 PMOn View | Past, Future or Alien?By “I’m a huge sci-fi nerd,” the curator Ginger Shulick says, “and I’ve been wanting to do an overtly sci-fi-themed show.” So she did. The exhibition, titled “Future/Past,” opens today at the Reverse gallery in Brooklyn and features works by a handful of global artists, some of them clearly speculative-fiction buffs themselves. “You can’t really tell if things are from the past, or if they’re alien or futuristic,” explains Shulick. “I like to present works that raise more questions than leave you with answers.”Some pieces are lighthearted homages to geeky pop culture, like “Star Wars Relief,” a 3-D silicone model that the British artist Sam Burford created by combining stills from “Star Wars” films. Others, like Daniela Kostova‘s “Cosmonaut 1001″ — a hyper-realistic baby astronaut with communist and capitalist patches on its suit and a dove sitting atop his head — are more political. This includes “A Space Exodus,” a film piece from the Palestinian artist Larissa Sansour, for whom utopias and dystopias become lenses through which to view conflict in the Middle East. Projected on a gallery wall, it reappropriates imagery from Stanley Kubrick’s film “2001: A Space Odyssey” as commentary about Palestinian-Israeli relations. “Putting the political dialogue of the Middle East in a context that people can understand is something I try to do in a lot of my work,” she says. “Sci-fi has this inherent quality of trying to deal with the future. There’s a saying in Palestine: ‘It’s easier to reach the moon than to reach Jerusalem.’ “Some artists, though, are very clearly stuck in the past. For his installation “An Experience Unlike Any I Have Ever Known,” the New York-based artist Don Edler re-created a display in the American Museum of Natural History of a photograph taken by the astronaut Charles Duke of the snapshot of his family that he left on the moon. Every detail of the A.M.N.H.’s display has been perfectly reproduced, right down to the dimensions and color of the wall that the original work is mounted on. “I was completely overwhelmed by the Romanticism implied in the gesture of leaving a family portrait on the surface of another world,” Edler says. “That photograph will exist on the surface of the moon, perfectly preserved for thousands of years.” Edler’s other contribution to the exhibit, “An Artifact of Our Imaginations,” is another replica — this one of the DeLorean time machine’s door from the “Back to the Future” films. “With that piece, I was thinking about how we relate to time travel through pop culture,” he says. “I was trying to engage time travel through a cultural lens that wouldn’t be super-dry.”“Future/Past” is on view through March 16 at Reverse gallery, 28 Frost Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; reversespace.org.Link to the actual article here