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October 12, 2018, 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Art in General
145 Plymouth Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201 United States
(212) 219-0473

Art in General presents Young Girl Reading Group (YGRG) 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, YGRGprovides an intimate discursive space within the experience of collective reading.

At Art in General, Young Girl Reading Group will present COMING OF AGE, a three-stage performative project between August–October 2018 grown out of group reading sessions. It will culminate in a performance and creation of a fragrance depicting the technological mediation of YGRG’s activity. After events hosted internationally by the Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw; Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; and Institute of Contemporary Art, London and many other; this is YGRG’s first-ever presentation in New York City.

Interested in the interrelationships between gender and technology, and the intersections between power, gender and desire, YGRG developed COMING OF AGE through a fascination with reading, sharing texts and interest in language and its multiple forms. The act of gathering and talking, listening and reading together emphasizes the relationship of the body and text—making it a collective body—while exploring the choreographic aspects of a reading group.

Readers are placed in lounging positions, which evoke the casual space of the bedroom, through this, a sense of intimacy and vulnerability is generated. What is produced is a sense of girl-on-the-internet catharsis–feminist theory rubs against ‘girlish’ reading practices, signaling a move towards de-institutionalizing the texts YGRG works with. Here, meaning is grown out of collective reading and extends to the non-organic world and the senses of smell, vision, and touch.

COMING OF AGE I on August 15th is a collective reading of two texts: “The Cloak of Darkness” from Richard Sennett’s Flesh and Stone and “Coming of Age in Karhide,” a short sci-fi story by Ursula K. Le Guin.

COMING OF AGE II on September 20th is a collective reading of Elvia Wilk’s “The Word Made Fresh: Mystical Encounter and the New Weird Divine” and Chapter One from “Parable of the Talents” by Octavia Butler.

COMING OF AGE III on October 12th is a performance conceived with the collaboration of International Flavors and Fragrances Inc. Performers will read a new text written by Young Girl Reading Group, interspersed with a set of ritual-like gestures. Each gesture will leave an olfactory trace within the space; the combination of which will be captured by headspace technology—a technique used to capture olfactory molecules present within a given space. The headspace sampling will become a choreographic move and a method of documenting the space and performance. During the following months, this fragrance will be synthesized into a final YGRG scent.