Science fiction as a story-telling genre, allows us to imagine worlds where our wildest hopes for the future may really be close to reality. The power in science fiction is that it insists upon its own real-ness through building new structures of logic. 

This is one objective found within the work of A.K. Burns, an American contemporary artist and educator who explores the body as a site and space of political tension and radical possibility. A.K. Burns’ Negative Space: Prepositions of the Future arranges objects, audio, and videos that are all part of her allegorical science-fiction epic Negative Space. Through an insistence upon its own systems of knowledge, the project builds a speculative present which addresses methods of ontology: science, value, labor, nature, and belonging. In English grammar a preposition is a spatial or temporal relation to denote various semantic roles- to be prepositional then is to be in an active community with sign systems. Burns’ works are inter-relational in their world-building ability, installations become the theatrical stage where viewers themselves can be the prepositions within Burn’s world, performing acts of learning and discovery, ultimately deepening their conceptions of otherness and belonging.

A.K. Burns transforms a science fiction speculative present into a real and engaging proposal for what historian T.J. Demos calls an emergent art of living. Through entering into new worlds, we may gain the ability to re-evaluate the one we have, and through accessing new ways of learning, we may reveal something about what we assume to be true in the present reality we call our own.


A.K. Burns. Untitled (eclipse), 2019. Single-channel 16mm film transfer to HD video, silent, color; 13 min.

March 26 - April 9, 2022

Curated By

Emily Small

Next Exhibition
March 26 to April 9, 2022