In this two neon part work permanently installed at Mousonturm, Tim Etchells reworks the same simple phrase in two different ways. The first part installs the statement THE FUTURE WILL BE CONFUSING on the outside of the Theatre Mousonturm building in letters of various different colours. Entering the building one finds the second part of the work, which features exactly these same letters in exactly the same colours, installed in a new, quite different arrangement. Covering the whole large wall which spans the width of the foyer, the neon letters are arranged
'nonsensically' so that the alreadyconfusing colour mis-match of the first sign becomes, in the future, inside the building, a kind of unreadable explosion of signs.
Like much of Etchells work with text in the context of visual arts, Will Be (Frankfurt) (2012), plays with the performative aspects of language and the relation between form and content. In Will Be the phrase does what it says - describing the idea of future confusion, it also enacts it, in colours, time experience and spatial arrangement. Etchells approach is playful, tempting us into an idea using just a short phrase made from 24 letters. Etchells work is also ambiguous - the arrangement of the letters in the interior of Mousonturm is certainly chaotic, and illegible by any normal standards. But the letters, stripped of their place is words, become free for our own imaginative recombination - creating a space of potential and possibility.
Tim Etchells (1962) is an artist and a writer based in the UK whose work shifts between performance, visual art and fiction. He has worked in a wide variety of contexts, notably as the leader of the world-renowned performance group Forced Entertainment. He is currently Professor of Performance at Sheffield University.