Young Girl Reading Group:

Public Program
Oct 12, 2018
Dorota Gawęda and Eglė Kulbokaitė, Young Girl Reading Group, 2018. Image courtesy of the artists.


October 12, 6:30–9 PM
Performance starts at 7 PM promtly

Art in General
145 Plymouth Street (Map)
Dumbo, Brooklyn, NY 11201

On October 12th, Dorota Gawęda and Eglė Kulbokaitė present COMING OF AGE III, an iteration of the artists’ long term project Young Girl Reading Group (YGRG). COMING OF AGE III is the first step towards the production of the YGRG fragrance conceived in collaboration with International Flavors and Fragrances Inc in New York. A synthetic molecular replica of the smell collected during the performance with the use of headspace technology, will be produced in the coming months. This new smell that bears a poetic sign or a memory of belonging to an intimate collective experience, is also seen as an olfactory method of documentation of performance. Seemingly operating beyond the reach of everyday cognitive processes and data collection mechanisms smell appears as a potential area of resistance to capital’s absorption. Understanding that it is significantly harder to quantitatively pin down the olfactory as a trackable sensation, the artists employ smell in the same way as the image documentation of performance, thus problematising the perceived immateriality of smell.

COMING OF AGE III is a performance for three (or a group), a site where and embodied vocabulary develops between untrained performers. The text read borrows from diverse references including Ursula K. Le Guin, Margarida Mendes, Elvia Wilk, Donna Haraway, Sarah Ahmed, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Sarah Sharma, Octavia Butler, Olga Tokarczuk, Leslie Jamison, Richard Sennett, Timothy Morton, Hito Steyerl, Martti Kalliala and others. The movement is organized around a set of collectively carried out tasks including: awkward reading poses, self-documentation, arbitrary ritual-like gestures, repetition and reduction of movement. YGRG asks to consider itself as a constant process of becoming; a loop of re-posting, re-staging and re-appropriating, simultaneously happening within the space and streamed online on @y_g_r_g instagram.

The performers’ bodies mimic one another while in the same time freely borrowing from the images on the multiple screens. The setting is framed and extended by the images depicting lab tests, fragrant flowers, green-screen strobe light backdrop and an extended frantic journey of an absent character through winding corridors filmed using a 360º camera. The camera becomes the fourth performer and character watching over the audience and at times confronted by the performers. Forms of intimacy are shaped and experiences generated, the bodies take positions, stop, and revise and rearticulate. Bodies like words acquire orientation by repeating some actions over others, as actions that have certain objects in view, whether they are the physical objects required to do the work (the surface, the pen, the screen) or the ideal objects that one identifies with. Bodies tend toward some objects more than others, given their tendencies. These tendencies are not originary; they are effects of the repetition of tending toward (Sarah Ahmed).

Thinking through Foucauldian biopolitics as well as pharmacopornographic regime (Paul B. Preciado), the artists point to the fact that we can no longer understand bodies as “finite unities” but instead fluid, porous cartographies or else distributed networks of corporate agency. COMING OF AGE III is a reflection on the economy of the transformative experience.

Performers: Brandy-Alexander, maansi jain and Pvssyheaven.

Sound mix: DODOMUNDO

Young Girl Reading Group (YGRG) is an ongoing performative project founded in 2013 in Berlin by the artist duo Dorota Gawęda and Eglė Kulbokaitė. Young Girl Reading Group investigates the act of reading as intimate experience, holding the potentiality to become public through the “outlouding” of words, otherwise under-emphasized. In correspondence with Tiqqun’s Preliminary Materials For a Theory of the Young-Girl, organized around feminist thought both historical and contemporary, and inspired by theory and fiction, YGRG provides an intimate discursive space within the experience of collective reading.

Young Girl Reading Group have recently exhibited related projects and performances at Kim?, Riga; Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin; 6th Moscow Biennale of Young Art, MMOMA; Cell Project Space, London; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Amanda Wilkinson Gallery, London; Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin; Kunsthalle Freiburg; 13th Baltic Triennial, Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius and Tallinna Kunstihoone, Tallinn; Kunsthalle Basel; Institute of Contemporary Art, London; SMK – National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen; Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf; Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw; SALTS, Basel; LISTE Performance Project, Basel; 9th Berlin Biennale; Hessel Museum/CCS Bard; Kunsthalle Zürich; Le Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris, etc. Upcoming exhibitions include: ANTI – 6th Athens Biennale; Les Urbaines, Lausanne; KALEIDOSCOPE takeover, Spazio Maiocchi, Milano, Italy; solo exhibitions at Lukas Hirsch Gallery, Düsseldorf; FUTURA, Prague and Schimmel Projects – Art Centre Dresden, Germany among others.

General Support of Art in General is provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation; Trust for Mutual Understanding; the New York State Council on the Arts with support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; National Endowment for the Arts; Visegrad Fund and FUTURA; Greenwich Collection; Cowles Charitable Trust; Milton and Sally Avery Foundation; Toby D. Lewis Donor Advised Fund of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland; The Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors; and by individuals. This program is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Facebook  Twitter  Tumblr  Vimeo   Instagram

Project Description:

Young Girl Reading Group:
Coming of Age