The Only Constant Thing is Change (2017)
Archival Exhibition curated by Test Dept and Cara Davies using materials from the band's archive. Presented at the Red Gallery, London, as part of the festival Assembly of DIsturbance (Oct 2017).
Nothing is certain, risks are taken and individuals face daily challenges of disharmony, precarity and uncertainty. Societal infrastructures bind us to live in a paradox of desiring that which is definite, consistent and constant, however this is an illusion as nothing remains as is. Change is always already in affect; we cannot escape it. We must embrace change; we must provoke change in doing so we perceive and experience the world in alternative ways, pushing boundaries and our understanding of we can survive.
The archive as an authoritarian infrastructure also demands its material inhabitants of documents to live in a paradox of stasis and flux: documents are consigned to the archive, accessioned into set categories, stored and labelled in accordance to an organisational system, yet, change is inevitable. Entropic processes physically alter the document’s substrates over time, and, simultaneously, the passage of time affords researchers the opportunity to interpret and re-frame the value and importance of a document’s contents and context(s).
The Only Constant Thing is Change explored the precarity in Test Dept’s archive looking at the changes that had occurred to the materiality of the objects and documents in the archive as a way to reflecting on what has been constant and consistent through Test Dept’ history, alongside that which has altered. The exhibition presented these multifarious narratives through the display of a range of documents from Test Dept’s archive alongside contextual writing provoking dialogue about how concurrent social and political changes evolved the group’s trajectory as creatives and activists.
For further information on the context of the exhibition’s presentation please check out the Assembly of Disturbance programme: https://issuu.com/testdept/docs/aod_programme_pages
Exhibition Poster for The Only Constant Thing is Change (2017).
Poster design: David Sagberg.