Dorota Gawęda (b. 1986, Lublin, PL) and Eglė Kulbokaitė (b. 1987, Kaunas, LT) are an artist duo founded in 2013, based in Basel (CH). Both are graduates of the Royal College of Art, London (2012). They work in a variety of media spanning performance, video, installation, sculpture and scent. They are the founders of YOUNG GIRL READING GROUP - YGRG (2013- ), named in correspondence to Tiqqun’s Preliminary Materials For a Theory of the Young-Girl, but organised around feminist and queer thought, both historical and contemporary.
For the first two years, YGRG was running on a weekly basis, becoming a community that looked for a horizontal way of approaching text and reading, and sharing of knowledge, providing an intimate discursive space within the experience of collective reading. The project became the basis of the duo’s continuous collaboration and still frames the conceptual core of their artistic practice. Currently, YGRG exists as a serial performative project, through which Gawęda and Kulbokaitė examine the relationships between reading, affect, distraction, bodily and virtual presence, togetherness and disunity, live-action and documentation. The accumulative project thus contextualises instability of boundaries, positing the interdependence of the text, the reading body, the environment and technology, where the readers and their surroundings are rendered as the site of an active and ongoing set of relations. Thinking through formal incompleteness, porosity and the idea of fragmentariness rather than holism is essential to the duo’s approach to both theory and reading and their material practice. The duo search for aberrant, media that lend themselves to creating speculative environments such as scent.
In their most recent work series, Gawęda and Kulbokaitė are interested in smell as an olfactory method of documentation of the performance and space. The duo sees the role of scent in their work as interface which creates a volatile passage between the virtual dimension and the physical body or object. Their research within this field is continuously supported by International Flavors and Fragrances Inc. The duo is also the founders of Agatha Valkyrie Ice (2014- 2017) post-body avatar, under whose name they co-curated OSLO1O project space in Basel (2015-2017).
Gawęda and Kulbokaitė have exhibited their work internationally including: Lafayette Anticipations, Paris; HKW, Berlin; Spazio Maiocchi, Milan; Lucas Hirsch Gallery, Düsseldorf (solo); Les Urbaines, Lausanne; ANTI - 6th Athens Biennale; Kunsthalle Fribourg, Switzerland; Art in General, New York; Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin; Musée d’Orsay, Paris; Cell Project Space, London (solo); MMOMA, Moscow; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Amanda Wilkinson Gallery, London (solo); Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin; Kunstverein Freiburg, Germany; 13th Baltic Triennial, Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, Kim? Riga and CCA / Tallinna Kunstihoone, Tallinn; Kunsthalle Basel; ICA, London; SMK- National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen; 1.1, Basel (solo); Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf (solo); MOMA, Warsaw; SALTS, Basel; Berlin Biennale 9; CCS Bard, NY; Kunsthalle Zürich; Le Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris among others. Upcoming solo exhibitions of the duo include: Schimmel Projects - Art Centre Dresden; Julia Stoschek Collection, Düsseldorf, OnCurating, Zürich and FriArt/Kunsthalle Freiburg.
The residency of Dorota Gaweda is supported by Visegrad Artist Residency Program – Visual and Sound Arts.