Franklin Furnace Fund Recipients 2012-13

(Philadelphia, PA)Sherman Fleming

Ancient Future

Ancient Future strives to draw a link between past and present strategies that seek to position race and discrimination as a votive force for social and political life. The use of multiple mediums, such as performance, installation, drawing and film showings, allow different access points for appreciation. Specifically, Ancient Future seeks to impact the ways in which we evaluate race as filtered through the strategies of film, photography and literature. Key moments have occurred in the later 20th century and beginning 21st century which help to inspire this project. Iconic photographs that depict firefighters conscripted to quell demonstrators in Birmingham, Alabama, the present uptick of strategies of racism, sexism and discrimination employed as a result of the inauguration of Barack Obama, while, conversely, the mock burial of the word ‘NIGGER’ by the NAACP to name a few, illustrate how the subject of race acts as a powerful mechanism that continues to impact social and political life. Ancient Future presents an opportunity in which to engage communities, reframe considerations of race and discrimination and contribute to the discourse that strives to effect social change.


Sherman Fleming seeks to create projects that identify cultural and social mechanisms that resonate with his processes of performance practice collaboration, combined with his experiences of community engagement.