Beyond a Certain Point There Is No Return

08.02.2023—02.04.2023

Natalie Ball, Elmgreen & Dragset, Sophie Calle, Julian Charrière, Dora García, Niklas Goldbach, Nadia Guerroui, David Horvitz, Eva Koťátková, Pere Llobera, Jill Magid, mountaincutters, Gareth Moore, Otobong Nkanga, Amalia Pica, Wilfredo Prieto, Rose Salane, Vittorio Santoro, Martine Stig

Curated by: Katia Krupennikova


Venue: A Tale of A Tub, Space for contemporary art and culture
Justus van Effenstraat 44, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Opening Times: Thursday to Sunday 13:00–18:00

Public Programme:
08.02.2023
Opening, 13:00—19:00


Eva Koťátková, 30 Minutes Under the Bed, 2009

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 and presents 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.


Katia Krupennikova is a curator and educator based in Amsterdam. Since 2018 she has been working as a lecturer for Curatorial Studies at MA FA, HKU School of the Arts, Utrecht, the Netherlands. In 2019/20 she was a fellow at BAK-basis for contemporary art, Utrecht, where she started her ongoing research project States of Anxiety, Minds for Care, analysing the political dimension of anxiety. Krupennikova was the curator of the 11th edition of the Survival Kit Festival in Riga, Latvia, Being Safe Is Scary, 2020.

In 2019 she was a member of the core group of curators of the Bergen Assembly, Actually, The Dead Are Not Dead, Bergen, Norway. In 2015 she won the Akbank Sanat International Curator Competition. The exhibition Post-Peace, intended to take place in Istanbul, was censored by the host institution; it subsequently opened in extended form at Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart, Germany, 2017, and Nest, The Hague, the Netherlands, 2017.

Recent projects include the solo exhibition Dialogues with People by the British artist Imogen Stidworthy, co-curated with Hans D. Christ and Iris Dressler, Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart, Germany, 2018-2019; and It Won't Be Long Now, Comrades!, co-curated with Inga Lāce, Framer Framed, Amsterdam, 2017.