LondonRites of Passage
Unit London presents a group exhibition entitled Rites of Passage. After more than a year spent in a seemingly intermediate state, Rites of Passage explores notions surrounding the liminal space. An international group of artists engage with ideas of uncertainty and trepidation, encapsulating an indeterminate existence set between reality and suspension.
Typically, liminal spaces are characterised by transition, presented in the physical forms of corridors, stairways or elevators, serving as waiting rooms between one place and another. They are often empty and abandoned, devoid of human presence. Yet, despite their disquieting indistinctness, these spaces remain strangely familiar, inducing an oddly combined feeling of eeriness and nostalgia. However, the works presented in Rites of Passage frequently include a recognisable cast of characters, inhabiting these liminal spaces and contending with their own periods of change. In this sense, by combining representations of the architectural and the bodily, Rites of Passages, implies how liminality can affect our mental existence when we are left in a limbo between one stage in life and the next.
The very form and materiality of the artworks themselves reflect these notions of the intermediate. These works often blend hyper-realism with a surrealist visual language, leaving us questioning the familiar yet beguiling worlds they create. Recognisable symbols are often slightly distorted or eerily perfected, building up to construct a seemingly alternate reality characterised by ambiguity. Simultaneously detailed and dreamlike, these works only ever verge on the abstract, hovering between the mimetic and the non-representational.
In the liminal space, we exist on a threshold between realities:
Between sleeping and waking, between rural and urban, between childhood and adulthood. Time stretches between ‘what was’ and ‘what is next’, leaving us questioning the relationship of the past to the present and the unknowable future that awaits. As such, the exhibition strives to present how liminality extends beyond the physical and the material, seeping into our interior lives. In essence, Rites of Passage captures the feeling of being in the liminal space, waiting on the cusp of something, in between one point in time and the next.
Alison Blickle (USA), Chason Matthams (USA), Chloe West (USA), Daisy Dodd-Noble (UK), Haeji Min (South Korea), Jeremy Olson (USA), Jinyong Park (South Korea), Marty Schnapf (USA), Millie Kelly (UK), Muzae Sesay (USA), Oliver Clegg (UK), Sasha Ferré (France), Sholto Blissett (UK), Suchitra Mattai (South America), Tahnee Lonsdale (UK).
all images © the gallery and the artist(s)