Act 5: I get those goosebumps every time you come around
I get those goosebumps every time you come around. <...>
Mothballs, bourbon, fresh fruit, rotten socks, ash, body odor, caramel, and trash. Someone tricked us into thinking that words should be read. We read the words, we rattle them out like somebody spitting rocks, but the act of reading is also an act of ingestion. We succeed in surrendering ourselves. For most of our life we had trouble eating. We desired to de-create ourselves to the point that we could subsist without eating at all, living on words alone.
We read together pronouncing the words out loud, emphasizing the relationship of the body of text and the collective body. Young Girl Reading Group is a sonar-social architecture of shared curiosity and synchronicity. An audition for audacity, where reading becomes a rhizomatic network of voices, suggestions, references. The readers are placed in casual lounging positions, bringing to mind bodies hanging out in bedrooms; through this a sense of intimacy and vulnerability is generated.
The intimacy of contact shapes bodies as they orient toward each other, doing different kinds of work. Queer desires enact the coming- out story as a story of “coming to,” of arriving near other bodies, as a contact that makes a story and opens up other ways of facing the world. They create spaces, often temporary spaces that come and go with the coming and going of the bodies that inhabit them.
from YGRG159: SULK, 2018
The exhibition I get those goosebumps every time you come around comprises of a series of works depicting the technological mediation of Young Girl Reading Group’s* activity. Central to the series is the newly developed fragrance conceived in collaboration with International Flavors and Fragrances Inc. in New York. RYXPER 1126AE is a synthetic molecular replica produced, on the basis of the smell collected with the use of headspace technology, during the performance YGRG159: SULK (2018), at ANTI - 6th Athens Biennial. This smell bears a poetic sign or memory of belonging to a certain intimate collective experience, of being and reading together but can also be understood as an olfactory method of documentation of performance and space.
We see role of scent as interface which creates a volatile passage between the virtual dimension and the physical body. 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, we employ smell in the same way as image documentation, thus problematizing the perceived immateriality of smell.
Thinking through Foucauldian biopolitics as well as pharmacopornographic regime (Paul B. Preciado), we can no longer understand bodies as “finite unities” but instead fluid, porous cartographies or else distributed networks of corporate agency (Margarida Mendes). Conceived through six acts, contractual, ritual- like gestures carried out, as part of the choreography of YGRG159: SULK (2018), contribute to the olfactory composition of RYXPER 1126AE. The smell is a reflection on the economy of the transformative experience.
YGRG159: SULK (2018) variously depicted throughout the material works present in the gallery, is a performance for three, a site of a collective reading, where an embodied vocabulary develops within the group. 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, Paul B. Preciado, Richard Sennett, Timothy Morton, Hito Steyerl, Martti Kalliala and others. The movement is organised around a set of collectively carried out tasks including: awkward reading poses, self-documentation, arbitrary ritual-like gestures, changing of garments, 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 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.