What does the future of art look like? We asked eight artists who practice tarot to pull a card from their personal decks.
This is an exciting card to pull. I think the future for art is calling for more pleasure and more feminine energy. Pleasure-driven thinking, talking, writing, making, looking, collaborating, etc. Feminine (please interpret broadly)–driven thinking, talking, writing, making, looking, collaborating, etc. —Hanna Hur is an artist based in Los Angeles.
I thought good and intently about the future of art. A loose shuffle, an extraordinary shuffle; a ginger yank of a single card—the Page of Wands: optimistic and artistic wanderer! Wands being intellectual kinds of sticks. This stick in particular being a support for the Page’s hobo sack, which you’ll note is also another sort of sack, blood-red and full of energy. And the stand-in for the Page himself is Mr. Stompin’ Tom Connors, optimistic raconteur/wanderer, not really giving two hoots about the future of anything, really, but giving at least a dozen hoots about whatever piece of work he happens to be working on at the moment. —Bennie Allain is an artist based in Fredericton, New Brunswick. This card is from his handmade deck.
The future of art is up all night, hovering between life and—something else, more or less like life. The dawn is less interesting than the deep-dyed blanket of your shared self. The future is the communal feeling of being alone. Nine sharp birth pangs. Statements of radiant despair and filtered hope on social media. Do you have the courage to be run through by whatever swords choose you? The future of art is a constellation of violences hovering over you, that you are bigger than, because you are made of good carbons and know how to feel. —Hannah Black is an artist and writer based in Berlin.
The rise of old knowledge is making a methodical comeback. Those in institutional power will be individuals who hold deep knowledge and skill: students of some of the most eclectic and powerful mentors. What becomes visible may seem conservative or traditional. Those making art will carry individualistic and specific methods of production that can be viewed as untouchable, strange and curious. They walk alone for the most part of their artistic career until after many, many years, when an audience will follow. We will notice many more Virgo artists, curators and administrators coming into the limelight. —Cindy Mochizuki is an artist based in Vancouver.
For the Art World: the Star (Major Arcana—the grand archetypes—pfft, typical). Now bear in mind, I am with Jodorowsky on this one; anyone who professes to see the future via a deck of cards is a charlatan. Also, I tend to think of my tarot readings as a kind of personal therapy. So perhaps this is more about my relationship to the Art World than it is about the Art World as an entity. The Star is what you would call in German the umwelt: the world-around, the environment, the community—that which you are plugged into, nourishes you, which you in turn nourish—and speaks to its power. I have spent my life in the Art World. Like it or not (and I vacillate daily, if not hourly) it is my environment, my bower. The bower envelops, it can give strength and protect; it can also (pace Camille Paglia) opiate, devour, emasculate. That’s the tricky thing about environments: it’s almost impossible to extricate yourself when you are so completely inside them, and it’s always difficult to tell whether they’re embracing or eating you. —Sholem Krishtalka is an artist and writer based in Berlin. This card is from his handmade deck.
On the surface, this might seem pretty underwhelming, divination-wise—the Wheel of Fortune, as in, anybody’s guess, a lot of anything and everything, rapidly changing fashions, the endless parade of the merely apparent, etc. But notice the crown and the sword (of intellect) on the blue simian creature above the fray. Notice also that the Wheel floats on the rippling surface of water. In the game of art there will always be strikers (the ascendant hare) and victims (the descendant monkey). The wise will not only identify themselves with water in all its forms (oceans, tears, streams, genital emissions, the very existence of emotion) but they will privilege insight over attainment, divine consciousness over the yearnings of the body. Krishna is blue in the face as our blood, within us, too is blue. Melancholy might become the dominant mode of creative expression—dare I say voluptuous melancholy—the bright, knowing form
of absolute feeling. —Ariana Reines is a poet, playwright, performing artist and astrologer based in New York.
we are the woman in this card offering compassion, love, patience and tolerance to the beast to tame it. we are the beast, impulsive, irrational, needing calm and subduing. a balance of fear and courage of spirit, wisdom, responsibility and passion. this is strength for the future
alternatively a turkish saying:
ekmek aslanın agzında the bread is in the lion’s mouth.
Derya Akay is an artist based in Vancouver. His card is part of a series of collaged scans.
Numbered 18 in the tarot, the Moon is the symbol of the imagination giving form to creative energy. Our sense of ourselves as human breaks down; as artists, we need to merge with our wildest instincts, remain open and receptive, transcend self-intervention and wander in the wild depths of the unconscious. How can we become what we have always been? —Hoa Nguyen is a poet based in Toronto.
This article was adapted from the Winter 2017 issue of Canadian Art, on newsstands now.