OPENING & PERFORMANCE
Beyond a Certain Point There is No Return
ELMGREEN & DRAGSET
curated by KATIA KRUPENNIKOVA
The exhibition Beyond a Certain Point There is No Return marks the third edition of an annual collaboration between A Tale of A Tub and Tlön Projects, presenting a variety of artworks selected from the imaginary collection of Tlön Projects. This imaginary collection is formed by the convergence of selected artworks from various international private art collections, whereby Tlön Projects aims to generate access to artworks which otherwise would have been largely shielded from public access.
Taking its title from an aphorism by Franz Kafka — “Beyond a certain point there is no return. This point has to be reached.” — the exhibition puts into conversation artworks by artists from different regions and generations. Though titled with Kafka’s quote, the exhibition touches on the writer’s heritage only tangentially. Instead, it spins around the urgency to seize and make visible the “point of no return,” which has been overwhelming the world in the recent years, from pandemics to wars to climate change. But the term has many evocative senses and associations. It originates from air navigation terminology, where it means that an aircraft no longer has enough fuel to return to its point of departure. “Point of no return” signifies a critical junc-ture, an irrevocable shift, an impossibility of return. But it is also itself something evasive and difficult to grasp. When did the point of no return occur, and how can one recognize it? Or do we only really become aware of this turning point after the fact, in its aftermath?
Beyond a Certain Point There Is No Return revolves around a crisis of awareness, and a crisis of action. The artworks in the show are brought together in search of spaces and temporalities that refer to this evasive and difficult to seize point, which manifests itself more through absence than presence. They sense moments when political, social or personal catastrophes become irreversible, or when change, even when not fully sensed or recognized, can no longer be avoided. The visitor is invited to pass through and touch upon memories, postures and expressions, in spatial relations, architecture, the body, and the unconscious, via subtle presences, traces and quantum entanglements.
The works comprising Beyond a Certain Point There Is No Return originate from the following collections: Kervahut—Laurent Fiévet Collection, France; Frédéric de Goldschmidt Collection, Belgium; Edgard F. Grima Collection, France; G + W Collection, the Netherlands; Kerenidis Pepe Collection, France; plancius art collection, the Netherlands; Servais Family Collection, Belgium; along with other collections that wish to remain anonymous.
Image: Eva Koťátková, 30 Minutes Under the Bed, 2009.
Two Planets Have Been Colliding for Thousands of Years
Across a multifaceted body of work, DORA GARCÍA challenges the traditional relationships between artworks and spectators within the exhibition space. The artist’s scenarios combine fiction and reality to the point of confusion to create unique situations that are both intellectual and playful, which rely on an active, and sometimes obligatory, participation of the public in the creation, activation, or destruction of the work. Selected from the imaginary collection of Tlön Projects, Two Planets Have Been Colliding for Thousands of Years provides a space of mediation and collaboration for performers to react to one another, communicating body-to-body as instructed by the artist. The piece originates from the Kerenidis Pepe Collection and is the result of a conversation between the artist, Andrea Valdés and Manuel Asín during which the image emerged of two planets colliding for thousands of years until they became one emerged. For DORA GARCÍA, this image was a perfect description of the relationship between poetry and philosophy. There is no fixed duration, no beginning or end. The observation of two figures orbiting slowly in a kind of mandala, or spiritual geometric arena, facilitates concentration and can also be a meditative experience for the viewer.
Text partly adapted from Ludovic Delalande (Translated from the French by Katia Porro)
Beyond a Certain Point There is No Return is supported by the Municipality of Rotterdam and the Mondriaan Fund.