The Fragility of Ancestral Time

April 11th 2024

“The past carries with it a temporal index by which it is referred to redemption. There is a secret agreement between past generations and the present one. Our coming was expected on earth. Like every generation that preceded us, we have been endowed with a weak Messianic power, a power to which the past has a claim. That claim cannot be settled cheaply.”

– Walter Benjamin

HELICONIA PROJECTS presents The Fragility of Ancestral Time, a group exhibition of four international artists: Cecilia Fiona, Clara de Tezanos, Francisca Sosa López, y Olamide Ogunade. Spanning sculpture, photography, painting, and textiles, the exhibition touches on how time is a fragile construct – our connection with the past, present, and future is fleeting. The individual’s connection, albeit unnoticeable, with its ancestors is a notion Walter Benjamin explores in his writings, specifically in “On the Concept of History”. Benjamin explains our connection with the past fittingly – referencing a ‘secret agreement’ with past generations or {ancestors}. Benjamin alludes to a weak messianic power represented by the revolving movement of time: our strong relationship with our predecessors and how this can bind us to certain realities. The ultimate answer Benjamin arrives at is that the future and present are built over contemporary legacies.