Love without cruelty is powerless; cruelty without love is blind, a short lived persistence which loses its edge. The underlying paradox is what makes love angelic, what elevates it over mere unstable and pathetic sentimentality, is its cruelty itself, its link to violence.
A proposition: the power relations that bind our human world together, that shape our societies like clay, are themselves animated by the invisible forces of love, desire and violence.
This is a show about those forces, about how they define us, how they infect our imperfect attempts at communication, how they bleed into each other mixing tenderness with violence and care with cruelty, about how all categories fall into confusion when faced with the complexity of reality.
A Grammar of Love and Violence is Eloise Fornieles' first major solo exhibition. For the entire duration of the show, Eloise, whose core practice comprises of performances set within installations, will be silent whether she is in or out of the gallery. She will sit in a dimly lit room filled with exaggerated references to the domestic, being bordered by walls of lace, carpeted by cut hair and filled with towers made of scaffolding that resemble a family group, topped with kissing-chairs. The audience will be invited into the installation to interact with Eloise individually so that each audience member creates their own experience of the work. They will be free to observe and engage in a strange dialogue, able to talk to Eloise who, remaining silent all the while, will reply with written letters. Perhaps in the gap between what is spoken and what is written we may see a fleeting image of both the dissonance and possibilities for connection that lie at the heart of all human efforts at communication.
Special thanks to Jim Dunkley and Sophie Jeanette Burton. Sound design by Tom Halstead.