The Road to Elysium @ HEIST

Launched earlier in 2014, HEIST is London’s first ‘anti-gallery’. The aim is to break down the barriers between artist and collector though creating a dialogue in a unique space. Instead of offering exhibition-goers a blinker view experience in surroundings reminiscent of hospitals, founder Mashael Al-Rushaid and his team want to “create an immersive space that allows for a personal engagement with the artists and their work”. It’s located in a converted house in Notting Hill, and they follow a highly hospitable philosophy: at every exhibition launch the shown works are accompanied by performance pieces, music and food that is inspired directly by the art. Their current exhibition, The Road to Elysium, demonstrates that their interest in photography goes beyond a pretty picture. HEIST believes that the story around it is just as important.


The Road to Elysium hinges on Aeneas’ quest for a second home in Virgil’s Aeneid. Featuring some of the world’s most innovative fine art photographers — including AES+F, Amanda Charchian, Laurent Badessi, Kim Keever, Aaron Hobson, Madame Peripetie, and Liu Ren — the exhibition focuses on pieces that encompass variations upon the idea of utopia. According to the organisers, “HEIST journeys with you to a post-apocalyptic world where life is magnificent. Like most journeys you take it wasn’t always easy but we have arrived. Welcome to our brave new world.”

At the centre of the exhibition is a AES+F’s three metre high and six metre long piece, Jungle Elegy. Dubbed ‘animated sculpture’ by the Russian photography group, their idiosyncratic combination of photography, video art and animation has already been exhibited in museums worldwide, including in Australia, Finland, France, Israel, Italy, South Korea, Switzerland, Russia, UK and USA.

If you’re in London, you have until 12 January to arrange a viewing at HEIST, or you can go to HEIST Online to find out more about artists, exhibitions and available art work.



Exhibiting Artists

AES+F, Amanda Charchian, Laurent Badessi, Kim Keever, Aaron Hobson, Madame Peripetie, Liu Ren

“HEIST is an ‘anti-gallery’ in so much as we pride ourselves in being totally different from a white cube gallery. During each exhibition we transform the space and make it totally immersive, we make the surrounding emulate what is being exhibited.​” – HEIST



About Author

My name is Christine and I was born in the early hours of 17 August in 1987. Not that it has to mean anything, but – especially after a few beers and a squeaky version of ‘Me and Bobby McGee’ – I enjoy pointing out that this was the same night Janis Joplin sang at Woodstock 28 years earlier. So, yeah, you might’ve guessed, I’m into her music, but decided against getting a tattoo of her because I felt I needed to curb my enthusiasm a tad. I also like rockabilly music, most music, outdoor festivals, and anything visual that has the power to stir excitement in me. When that happens, I like to write about it!

1 Comment

  • northierthanthou
    January 7, 2015 at 5:12 am

    All of these are interesting, but the mass of red hair is particularly fascinating. Well done!


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