– Autumn/Winter 2019

Afterword: Florida Arabesque

Mark Lewis

Postbox, Sanibel Island Florida, 2019. Photograph courtesy the author

I belong to a generation […] that has lost all respect for the past and all belief or hope in the future. […] We are convalescing. […] The truth is […] that the things we love […] only have their full value when we merely dream them. […] We would be anarchists had we been born into the classes that describe themselves as underprivileged, or into any other of the classes from which one can fall or rise. […] Those of us who are not pederasts wish we had the courage to be so. […] Bereft of illusions, we live on dreams, which are the illusions for those who cannot have illusions.

– Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet

Why do we remember the past and not the future?

– Carlo Rovelli, The Order of Time

I owe two texts. The first, something about art, modernity and future utopias, for a Kunstverein in Germany. It’s supposed to be a ‘sequel’ to the modernity and antiquity text I wrote for documenta 12. The second, something about the contemporary condition of images, particularly moving images, to mark the twentieth anniversary of Afterall, the research and publishing project Charles Esche and I founded back in 1999. Charles tells me that this latter text should anticipate, look forward, predict even. Two texts, then, occasioned by