The Telfer Gallery
Friday, February 9, 2018
Monday, March 5, 2018
13 Ross Street The Barras Glasgow G1 5AR
The Telfer Gallery

Opportunity exists within ambiguity, the unknown and the not-yet-trodden. A number of possibilities are presented to us within Leontios Toumpouris’ exhibition, all of which are, or at least seem to be, within our control. If we were to stretch our hand out a little further and attempt to grasp.

Last year it emerged that a large number of British water companies were employing the use of dowsing rods, “divining sticks” that rely on unconscious muscle reflexes in the same way a Ouija board does. The success-rate of these tools is next to non-existent, despite them having been used since the 16th century. They have long been consigned to the same realm as alchemy, a non-science long looked on as a quirk of the small minds of the past. And yet in 2017 there were dozens of reports of company workers, pacing areas of land, waiting for the two metal rods in their hands to vibrate when coming to proximity with underground bodies of water. It is a complex image to understand, a person in high-vis using a tool universally disregarded for its reliance on archaic notions of magic, just last year, and one that both presents a collapse of past and present in that unifying space of possibility.

Though perhaps not an image that induces confidence in those scientifically minded, it is one that provokes us to consider a living fiction, a desire within ourselves to construct a physical language, a performance that speaks of stories living out-with our own.

Within Toumpouris’ exhibition there are symbols, nods and voices that present to us the opportunity to situate ourselves within a fictional past, a space in which to dig and explore symbols, language and material that has made its way there through the agency of human’s, subjects or the materials themselves. The possibility of a future exists in tools awaiting our interaction, apparatuses that are both remnants of the past and building blocks of the future. The space is past, future and fluctuating – an opportunity for knowledge to transfer between author, matter and viewer.

The components of this show are entangled, dependent on each-other for not just existence but usage as well. These are objects to both imagine ourselves within, but also to stretch out our hands a little further and attempt to grasp.

We are invited not just to experience, but to dictate, inform, configure.


The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication, titled ‘Physical or Otherwise: Suggestions and Encounters’ featuring commissioned and re-edited essays spanning academic, theoretical and experimental responses to notions associated with Toumpouris’ practice. Texts by Lampros Alexopoulos, Maria Anastassiou, Seán Elder, James Elkins, Allyson Keehan and Leontios Toumpouris.

Publication Launch: CCA Clubroom, Sunday 18th February, 4pm

The publication will be available to purchase on the preview day, throughout the duration of the show and during the publication launch.


Supported by:
Many Studios
East End First Saturdays

Funded by:
Cultural Services | Ministry of Education and Culture, Cyprus
Hope Scott Trust