London | Beijing

things fall apart; the centre cannot hold 

Elli Antoniou, Ali Glover, Richard Dean Hughes

Curated by Kollektiv Collective
30 November - 26 January, 2024
Tabula Rasa Gallery, London  

Tabula Rasa Gallery is pleased to present things fall apart; the centre cannot hold, a three-person group show curated by the London-based curatorial collective Kollektiv Collective and features works by Elli Antoniou, Ali Glover, and Richard Dean Hughes. The show is opening on 30th November at the London gallery space.

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 forwardand 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

Text by Kollektiv Collective

About the Curators

Kollektiv Collective is a London-based curatorial collective run by Pia Zeitzen and Sasha Shevchenko since 2019. Working with and in support of emerging artists, Kollektiv focuses on exploring site-specificity and performativity as curatorial tools to transcribing the abstract into the visual. Thematically, their exhibitions are dedicated to investigating socio-political themes at large by dissecting thoughts and feelings that forge the image of present time. Critically investigating contemporary thought, Kollektiv often reverts to a dissection of binaries in an attempt to promote multiplicity, complexity and the merit of leaning into uncertainty. Recent exhibitions include On the flip side was, Guts Gallery Project Space (London, 2023), Interlude, Kupfer (London, 2023), Un/Sense, Christie’s (London, 2022), and In Nihilum, Swiss Church (London, 2020).

About the Artist

Elli Antoniou
Elli Antoniou (b.1995, Birmingham, UK) is a London-based artist, who creates ‘metallic drawings’. Antoniou has devised a hybrid technique combining gestural drawing and industrial processes. She uses a range of abrasive tools to subtly alter the metallic surface, transforming its reflective and refractive properties to create metallic panels with ethereal imagery. This technique proposes scaleless fluid cosmoi in perpetual motion, where these ‘metallic drawings’ are activated by the environmental light.

Her practice is a meditation on screens, delving into their profound influence on our perception of time and space. She explores the vanishing present and its nature as a moment of indefinite metamorphosis. Antoniou’s narratives mirror her view on the current digital age marked by semiotic inflation; when information and images melt into pure movement, morphing into a choreography of synthesis. As her sculptures continuously regenerate under the play of light, they become fictional screens for an unfolding parallel reality, whose world she is gradually shaping.

Antoniou holds an MA Degree in Sculpture from the Royal College of Art (2018-2020), with a scholarship from NEON Organisation for Culture and Development and a BA in Fine Art & History of Art from Goldsmiths University of London (2014-2017). She has been awarded the ARTWORKS 2022-23 Fellowship by Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Greece. She has participated at the Palazzo Monti residency programme (2023), Brescia, Italy and at the Roman Road studios programme, London, U.K. (2023). Her recent exhibitions include _overlapping moments of a slightly present, Saigon (solo, Athens, 2021); Halls of Mirrors, PLOP (London, 2023); *pinch* to zoom, Generation & Display (London, 2023);Warm Reflections On Black Ice, Saigon & Rosa Stern Space (Munich, 2023); Excursion II, The Split Gallery (London, 2023); Recursion I, The Split Gallery (London, 2023); Doomed Companions, Unsubstantial Shades, Hellenic Residence (London, 2022, Supported by NEON Organization for Culture and Development); Moon White Moth, Saigon & PTX (Athens, 2022); Back to Athens 9: No Apocalypse Now, Isaiah Mansion (Athens, 2022); THE DEEP END, Two Thirds (Athens, 2022).

Richard Dean Hughes
Richard Dean Hughes (b.1987, Manchester, UK) is an artist based in Manchester, known for his exploration of the slippery relationship between reality and the realm of the hypothetical. Hughes often revisits and describes a personal and internal space, taking artifacts, feelings and ‘visuals’ from imagined scenarios, bringing them into real time through the manipulation of material and collisional objects. His sculptures question the idea of plausibility, they question their own existence, acting as a representational display of the space in which Hughes is trying to describe.

Suggestion and the idea of plausibility is central to Hughes’s practice, repeated motifs and a collisional approach create unordinary but persuasive coalescence. He theoretically and conceptually slices up the time-based elements of an object, then hypothetically stitches them back together; treating the concept and history of an object as something that can be manipulated to create a new scenario, extract meaning and tell a new story.

Hughes incorporates a wide range of traditional processes alongside new technologies, and an ever-growing array of materials from resin, metal and paint to dust and newspaper. Using small tools to carve certain works, then stereo-lithography to produce others; like his work, Hughes shifts and morphs, reacting to the concept, and the language of generated ideas. Hughes is able to draw from his material repertoire to continue an exploration of duality, the materiality and concepts of his work belong in two places at one time, can be 2 things at the same time; both hot and cold, utilitarian and absurd.

His recent exhibitions include Ubiquitous no.14, Tube Gallery (Palma, 2023); Centre Of the Periphery, Pipeline Gallery (London, 2023); Everything at Once, Generation and display (duo show, London, 2022); Subliminal Thaw, Night Time Story (online, solo, Los Angeles, 2021); Off Trail, Air Gallery (Manchester,2021); Vent, 9A Gallery (duo, Todmorden Yorkshire, 2021); Soft Display, Division Of Labour (Worcester, 2020); When Shit Hit’s The Fan, Guts Gallery (online, London, 2020).

Ali Glover
Ali Glover (b. 1993, West Midlands, UK) is a London-based artist whose site-based interventions consider how architectural infrastructures can shift aspects of behaviour and psychological patterns. His installation acts as an intermediary or side space, like that of a page margin, where idle thoughts get passed from the periphery into the main. He is interested in how forms of language (architectural, image or sonic) used in those in-between moments can lead to something from being overlooked to visible.

Glover makes reference to particular aspects of the space by borrowing familiar or institutional elements such as the floor tiles, security lights and exposed stud walls. Articulated through field recordings of hauntings in urban environments, he collapses moments from these actualities into cerebral spaces or daydreams.

Glover graduated from Chelsea College of Art in 2015 and completed the MFA Fine Art programme at Goldsmiths in 2022. In early 2022 he was commissioned by Harshadha Balasubramanian and Caraboo Projects to develop an audio work in response to descriptions of the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol. He has also developed a project at Z/KU Berlin for 3 months of residence in 2023. His recent exhibitions include Terminal Parlour, Split Gallery (London, 2023); loose teeth, Commonage Projects (London, 2023); Ghost Show - The Haunted House, Peckham (London, 2022); The Worm at the Core, Woolwich (London, 2022); Tilt, 310 NXRD (London, 2021); my horse ate your crocodile’s tooth and scratched its back on a metal slab, 43 Madron Street (London, 2020); A Sight Of (Curated), Proposition Studios (London, 2020). Glover is also part of F.A.F, a collective formed by himself, Henry Burns and Ruairi Fallon. Their collective show As a Child with a Matchstick Castle was presented at Staffordshire St Gallery (London, 2023).

Tabula Rasa Gallery (London)
Unit One, 99 East Road,
Hoxton, London
N1 6AQ
Tuesday - Saturday 12:00 - 18:00 | Sunday - Monday Closed

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Tabula Rasa Gallery  (London)