Exhibitions Nikola Tesla. The future is his
Exhibitions Nikola Tesla. The future is his

The North-American inventor of Serbian origin, Nikola Tesla (Smiljan, an area with a Serbian majority in what is now Croatia 1856-New York, 1943) was a key figure in the history of progress.

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The North-American inventor of Serbian origin, Nikola Tesla (Smiljan, an area with a Serbian majority in what is now Croatia 1856-New York, 1943) was a key figure in the history of progress.

We might say that his discoveries, inventions, contributions and forecasts facilitated the development of the electronic civilization we still inhabit today. Tesla developed the alternating current and the radio, and he was also a pioneer of visionary technologies at that time such as robotics, vertical take-off aircraft, remote-controlled weapons, low-energy bulbs, alternative energies and wireless electricity transmission. And yet after falling into poverty at the dawn of the 20th century, he died and fell into oblivion until the beginning of the 21st century.

This seems incomprehensible, given the huge importance of his work which is comparable to that of his rivals, Thomas A. Edison and Guglielmo Marconi, who were both fond of sniffing around his patents. Tesla, the epitome of the romantic genius, obsessed with his work and not terribly interested in worldly matters, was very unlucky in his business dealings and lost out on the historic recognition of his contributions in favour of other more commercially-savvy inventors. On top of this, the new capitalism that arose with the Second Industrial Revolution took a dim view of someone who had failed to become rich from his inventions and relegated him to the solitude of a room at the Hotel New Yorker. This was where Tesla died, having gone from a brilliant and attractive European scientist to an old man who used to feed the pigeons while muttering mad ideas about a wireless future.

The exhibition, which benefited from the collaboration of the Tesla Museum in Belgrade, is the biggest one ever held on the inventor and for the first time offers the general public a display of the scientist’s personal objects that had never previously left his homeland.

We propose a journey through the space and time inhabited by Tesla: from the Austro-Hungarian Empire to the New York of the first skyscrapers, from hotel rooms to laboratories, from fame to ruin, from brilliance to madness, from solitude to trending topic. There are many faces of Tesla that the exhibition aims to unveil: the genius inventor, the man of his time, the flamboyant seducer, the visionary, the superhero… Yet beyond the tangible importance of his legacy, Tesla was a profoundly inspiring figure in numerous fields. The exhibition shows how, for sometimes very strange reasons, he managed to exert a powerful transcultural and multidisciplinary attraction.  Nikola Tesla: the future is his is the story of a man who touched the sky. His vision aimed to change the world, and the world duly changed in the image and likeness of his vision.


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