This unique photograph was used as a prop for a performance Body Heat, during which marks were inscribed on its surface. The performance deployed quotations from Richard Sennett’s Flesh and Stone: The Body and the City in Western Civilization (1994) in which he considers the history of the city as told through people’s bodily experience – how they moved, what they heard and smelled, what they wore and how they made love. YGRG combined Sennett’s words with selections from other writers including their own writing and the performers lay on a carpet under a heat lamp reading the texts from their phones and sometimes recording each other reading. This work is one of three photographs from previous performances which functioned as a backdrop and later as evidence of the body’s centrality to the installation even in its absence. Young Girl Reading Group was established in 2013 by Dorota Gawęda and Eglė Kulbokaitė in order to read aloud, to share text collectively as an alternative to solitary reading, and to consider what constitutes a voice in today’s world of social media, celebrity culture and all-encompassing capital. The experience of collective reading is thus extended into the domain of live performance and self documentation and is mediated through the Internet, social media and immersive installation. The readers inhabit spaces constructed by YGRG in relation to their chosen texts as they read from mobile devices. The Dorota Gawęda and Eglė Kulbokaitė will premiere a new film at the Julia Stoschek Collection, Germany and Swiss Institute, New York later this month. Earlier this year they presented a solo exhibition at Kunstalle Fribourg, Switzerland. They are nominated both for the Swiss Performance Award and Swiss Artist Award 2020. Recent solo exhibions include Futura Gallery, Prague, 2019 and Cell Project Space, London, 2019. They have been included in international group shows at institutions such as Palais de Tokyo, Paris, Baltic Triennale XIII, Martin Gropius Bau as part of Welt ohne Außen - Immersive Spaces since the 1960s, Berlin, 6th Moscow Biennale for Young Art, MMOMA, Organ Vida, Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb and 6th Athens Biennale, Athens.
YGRG154: Body Heat, Amanda Wilkinson Gallery, 27 March - 21 April 2018 Young Girl Reading Group 145, performance, Kunstkredit 2017, Kunsthalle Basel [project supported by International Flavours and Fragrances Inc. and Adam Mickiewicz Institute]Performed by: Sitara Abuzar Ghaznawi, Deborah Holman, Dorota Gawęda, Eglė Kulbokaitė, Manuel ScheiwillerCurated by: Julia Moritz and Stafan Burger