things fall apart; the centre cannot hold
Tabula Rasa Gallery, London, N1 6AQ

Elli Antoniou, Ali Glover, Richard Dean Hughes

In an attempt to think the unthought and give form to the formless, things fall apart; the centre cannot hold explores an aesthetic of rebuilding. As an exercise of imaging the otherwise, three artists collaboratively rethink space, unwind time, and manipulate matter. Forging a new vantage point, what was soft is now unyielding, the formerly outside turned within. Caught at a stand-still, the hegemonic narrative of the present day absorbs our tools of resistance, faces of counter movements’ heroes are trapped on mass-produced fridge magnets. Each new attempt to dismantle inadvertently modernises the morbid structures, fuelling the spinning wheel. In a struggle for change, we look closer, we slip, we digress, and everything becomes another version of itself.

What if flatness was no longer flat, if the rigid revealed an underlying vividness, and what we thought functional devoid of use? To imagine a resistance that defies existing structures means to lean into discomfort and to betray the status quo’s promise of harmony. Seeking potential in slippage and dissonance, this exhibition imagines a mode of perception turning to non- quantifiable ways of understanding – sensory, emotive, fictional, or otherwise. In a turn to opacity and ambivalence as sources of knowledge, things fall apart; the centre cannot hold dilutes the familiar and reverses the definite, searching for liberation in the absence of anticipation. The gallery becomes trapped in the vacuum of its own space, where the facades have collapsed and in the ruins of certainty, secrets are revealed in whispers.

Alongside each other, the works of Elli Antoniou, Ali Glover and Richard Hughes defy expectations, demanding questions be answered otherwise. Inverting the gallery walls, Glover’s newly commissioned work skin it (2023) changes the emotive composition of the space and interrupts the logical foundations of its architecture. The exhibition space is submerged in a state of flux, caught between aesthetic and functional, finished, and unfinished, constructing and dismantling. Within this non-space, Richard Hughes’ sculptures are reminiscent of a domestic setting, but in the comfort lingers the uncanny. The promise of functionality underlying Cold Corners (2021) and Collapse (2022) prompts cycles of recognition and evaluation, only to conclude that none of the visual elements are what they pretend to be. Essentials of the every-day betray us and what remains is a mere memory of function, now bordering absurdity and lacking uninterrupted sleep. Elli Antoniou’s works escape the rigidity of empiricism altogether. With change as the only constant, rotor, reversing forward and p.p. [portable portal or for promise] (all 2023) are at once liquid and static, durable but impossible to preserve. The works conjure depth in total flatness, with the cold of the metal trapped in the whirlwind of shapes and patterns. Leaving singularity behind, Antoniou’s works breathe in the light, two eyes all-seeing.

surely some revelation is at hand
30 November –
26 January 2024

PV 30 November,
6–8 pm

© Kollektiv Collective