Through the evolutive and performative project of Young Girl Reading Group, artists Dorota Gawęda and Eglė Kulbokaitė explore the simple yet powerful act of reading as both intimate and collective experience. Mining feminist and queer theory, they create performative and speculative installations in which text, body, technology, space and emotion are interdependent. The multi-sensorial environments the artists conceive critically choreograph the relationships between physical and virtual realities, live performance, documentation and their roles in alternate forms of knowledge production and dissemination. Reading, at once individual and collective, is central to the performances which test the distinctions between body, materiality and the virtual. Specifically, the artists highlight their porosity to recompose intimate and social space.
For prologue, Dorota Gawęda and Eglė Kulbokaitė present the performative installation YGRG 154: BODY HEAT III, conceived as the encounter of text with visual and olfactive scenography exploring biopolitics. Using citations from Richard Sennett’s Flesh and Stone: The Body and the City in Western Civilization (1994), the performance underlines the necessity to rethink the body not as hermetic unit but rather as space – traversed and negotiated by its surrounding environment. The script of the performance blends Sennet’s text with various authors, including the artists themselves. All texts address in some way the body as element formed by that which it encounters including other beings, bodies, objects, and architecture. Ultimately the artists offer a provoking revision of subject/object relations including conceptions of gender and the Other.
Performed by Priscillia Amey, Eurydice Gougeon-Marine, Amandine Nan.Costume by Albane Gayet. Sound mix by Brooklyn Bridge.
Dorota Gawęda and Eglė Kulbokaitė have presented their work on an international scale, including solo exhibitions at FUTURA, Prague (2019) ; Schimmel Projects – Art Centre Dresden (2019) ; Lucas Hirsch Gallery, Düsseldorf (2018) ; Cell Project Space, London (2018); Art in General, New York (2018) ; Mikro, Zurich (2017) ; Amanda Wilkinson Gallery (2017). They also took part in several group shows, recently at Lafayette Anticipations, Paris (2019) ; Spazio Maiocchi, Milan (2018) ; Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin (2018) ; MMOMA, Moscow (2018); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2018) ; Kunsthalle Basel (2017) ; Institute of Contemporary Art, Londres (2017) ; SMK/Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius (2017) ; Museum of Modern Art, Varsovie (2016) ; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (2015).
Image: Dorota Gaweda & Eglè Kulbokaitè, YGRG 154: Body Heat, Amanda Wilkinson Gallery, London, 2018 © Ari King / Courtesy the artists & Amanda Wilkinson (London).