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MEANWHILE is delighted to present Testament, an exhibition by Alex Backhouse.

Testament considers the rapid development and inevitable demise of all technology. In its fictional reality, the dead live on as avatars in a computerised fantasia alongside their temperature controlled physical remains. The ability to upload human consciousness has gone through several generations of development, but due to neglect, many of these facilities have already been rendered obsolete. The narrator, an unidentified burn victim interned in a corrupted simulation of Dealey Plaza on the day of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, still dreams of discovering the truth behind this unsolved event.

At the core of transhumanist theory is the idea that the mind will endure after the body has perished, but in the reality projected within Testament, this concept is reversed - challenging the ideals of posthuman culture by examining which aspects of the human experience are worth preserving. This two-channel video installation travels an unstable landscape of real and fictional narratives to interrogate our increasingly complicated relationship with technology and its mythologies.


Alex Backhouse is a filmmaker and visual artist currently based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara. His first film Unnatural History (2014) was selected for the 67th Locarno Film Festival. His follow-up, Explorer (2016) premiered in the NZ International Film Festival’s “Spectral Visions” programme alongside shorts by Gavin Hipkins, Phil Dadson and Gabriel White. He is currently developing short and feature-length projects alongside further installation work.

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