Daniel Arsham

'The Future Was Then'

The SCAD Museum of Art presents "The Future Was Then," a monumental installation by Daniel Arsham created specifically for the museum's Pamela Elaine Poetter Gallery for deFINE ART 2016. These select sculptural works and this installation explore the interaction between mankind and architecture, and draw particular attention to man’s capacity for creating, destroying and repurposing manmade and natural materials both historically and contemporaneously.

Daniel Arsham
Daniel Arsham

Central to the exhibition is Arsham’s “Wall Excavation” installation, a large-scale, architecturally responsive installation in which the artist has carved into a repeated series of faux-concrete walls. As visitors engage directly with their surroundings and walk among the immersive excavation, they are met with sculpted openings in which jagged edges morph from abstract forms into the silhouette of a human figure. This transformative experience evokes notions of progress in relation to mankind’s ability to manipulate his surroundings.

Arsham’s interests in the analysis of mankind’s place in history set the tone for the exhibition. "The Future Was Then" simultaneously comments on and condenses the timeline of civilization and creates an experiential moment for visitors to reflect on their own personal place within it.

Presented as part of deFINE ART 2016, which takes place Tuesday, Feb. 16 through Friday, Feb. 19, 2016.

All deFINE ART lectures, receptions and events are free and open to the public.


This exhibition is curated by guest curator Aaron Levi Garvey.

Museum Admission

Daily admission to the museum is free for all SCAD students, faculty, staff and museum members.

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