Search Museum of the Moving Image

Uchronias and Dystopian Futures: Latin American Science Fiction Cinema of the 21st Century

Apr 14 — Jul 21, 2019

Co-presented with Cinema Tropical, and in collaboration with Queens Museum

Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Mundos Alternos: Art and Science Fiction in the Americas at Queens Museum, this film series takes a decolonial perspective on Latin American science fiction cinema of the 21st century. The eight feature films and one short film originate from Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Costa Rica, Cuba, and Mexico, among others and offer a unique focus on the present while reimagining the future. They range in tone from the fresh comedy of César Caro’s Third World (Tercer mundo) and the intelligently sarcastic humor of Fernando Spiner’s Goodbye Dear Moon (Adiós querida luna); to the combination of sci-fi and horror in Oscar Campo’s I’m Another (Yo soy otro) or the video art experimentation of Daniel Molero’s Videofilia (y otros síndromes virales). A pointed political consciousness moves each of the directors to create fiction from documentary references or materials that address current socio-cultural conditions. Such is the case of The Project of the Century (La obra del siglo) by Carlos Machado, a fictional film that includes archival footage and is set near the ruins of a Soviet-backed nuclear power plant in Cuba. Adirley Queirós’s White Out, Black In (Braco sai, preto fica) also combines docufiction and Afrofuturism in portraying two victims of police brutality; whereas Amat Escalante uses science fiction as a means to boost evidence of an ominous reality in The Untamed (La región salvaje).

Organized by guest curator Itala Schmelz, with assistance from Clemente Castor

About Mundos Alternos:

Mundos Alternos: Art and Science Fiction in the Americas brings together contemporary artists from across the Americas who have tapped into science fiction’s capacity to imagine new realities, both utopian and dystopian. Science fiction offers a unique artistic landscape in which to explore the colonial enterprise that shaped the Americas and to present alternative perspectives speculating on the past and the future. In the works featured in the exhibition, artists employ the imagery of science fiction to suggest diverse modes of existence and represent “alienating” ways of being in the world. Uchronias and Dystopian Futures is one of several satellite programs and installations at partner institutions throughout New York City, including: The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, SoHo; The New York Hall of Science, Corona, Queens; and Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling, Harlem.

Mundos Alternos was organized by and first exhibited at UCR ARTS at the University of California, Riverside. The traveling iteration at the Queens Museum is organized by Hitomi Iwasaki, Director of Exhibitions and Curator at Queens Museum, and Joanna Szupinska-Myers, Senior Curator at the California Museum of Photography at UCR ARTS.

Uchronias and Dystopian Futures: Latin American Science Fiction Cinema of the 21st Century as part of Mundos Alternos: Art and Science Fiction in the Americas at the Queens Museum is made possible by lead support from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. 

On Sunday, April 7, 1:00 p.m. series curator Itala Schmelz will present the lecture “Latin American Science Fiction: Modernity and Resistance” at the opening of Mundos Alternos at Queens Museum, New York City Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park.