Exhibition ‘Authority Incorporeal’ closing event
Works by Austėja Masliukaitė, Bea Xu, Emma Bang, George Finlay Ramsay, Linas Gabrielaitis, Valerie Tee Lee, Virginia Russolo in response to the exhibition ‘Authority Incorporeal’ curated by Adomas Narkevičius. The event will take place at the Tech Arts gallery on 3 July, from 4 pm. The event is open to the public and free of charge.
Adomas Narkevičius, former curator of Rupert, briefly returned to the institution with an exhibition and a proposal for the participants of the alternative education programme. The proposal offered a space to engage with ‘Authority Incorporeal’ and a chance to create polyphonic dialogues. After many shifts and turns, ideas became proposals that in turn morphed into well thought-out works. Inspired by the exhibition, the story and the concept, six participants provided their own responses.
But how does one respond to an exhibition beyond descriptive narrative or analytic probe? In order to answer this question we might have to admit that everything is a response. Involuntary, elevated or obfuscated – the movement is always towards something else than us. It is quite easy when the object of response is clear and material, but things get more convoluted when the matter becomes thinner and thinner. Without even knowing, we find ourselves in the realm of incorporeality, accommodating, among other things, authority.
In this realm, that, well, is everywhere and nothing here is excluded, we ceaselessly respond and react. Our bodies, actions, works and movements, often without even knowing, embrace the call of bewildering spirit, the ever-present but elusive authority incorporeal.
My apologies for being vague and hazy, but is there any other way of speaking about a wavering spirit manifesting through myriads of embodiments? It is an open question, but the responses are real and all invited to see and maybe even to respond:
16:00 | Introduction by Tautvydas Urbelis
16:10 | Performance ‘6 Petalled Lotus Wheel’ by Bea Xu
16:25 | Reading of ‘Crystal Meth Jonas in the Court of Augustus the Strong’ by George Finlay Ramsay and Emma Bang
16:35 | Performance ‘slow invitation’ by Valerie Tee Lee
17:00 | Exhibition tour by Guoda Šulskytė
Works in the exhibition:
‘Spectral Alliances of the Forest’ by Linas Gabrielaitis and Austėja Masliukaitė
‘Mappe Altari (Altar Maps)’ by Virginia Russolo
Online response via Telegram messaging app:
‘Crystal Meth Jonas in the Court of Augustus the Strong’ by George Finlay Ramsay and Emma Bang
Join the group (you will need to download the TELEGRAM app to connect): https://t.me/joinchat/88mZIGF9_4RmMjlk
MORE ABOUT THE WORKS
I have been struck by the motif of porcelain in Authority Incorporeal’’s source material – specifically the explicit xenophobic contempt that spurs on the desire to alchemise brown clay into Europe’s own white gold in the King Augustus legend. After all,
The European nobilities were still forced to begrudgingly purchase porcelain from Asia, which they saw as a disgrace as it entailed acknowledging ‘the Orient’ as having a technological advantage and superiority of artistic mastery.*
Such implicit racial supremacy evidenced in this account has sadly been echoed in my experiences of Western (British, North American and European) exceptionalism throughout the Covid-19 pandemic; marginalising the wisdom and thoroughness of East Asian and Southeast Asian approaches towards containing the virus as ‘other’ and therefore deeming them irrelevant to the occidental context. As a British-born Chinese artist, it feels very alive and painful to acknowledge the lineage of this othering from the legend to the present day and my contribution partly engages with this material.
6 Petalled Lotus Wheel is a circular witch’s mark featuring a newly designed sigil that sits on the threshold of the exhibition, straddling the wooden decking outside and flooring inside the gallery space. The invitation is for visitors to tread over the mark so that it degrades completely by the close of the show.
China’s place within the discourse on racial justice has literally defied any binary notion of racial black or whiteness, and in its present ascendency as a global superpower it refuses to obey formal definitions of imperialism. It is neither outside nor inside the room, just as influence of Chinese porcelain is acknowledged by Polish-Lithuanian royalty in the legend, yet actively left at the door.
I’ve blended cobalt blue pigment with crushed sea salt into a dry mixture to create the mark and perform the circle-casting as I would any opening ritual. Reminiscent of the colouring used for Ming dynasty porcelain vases, the design is a hybrid of a hexafoil (the traditional daisy wheel symbol used to ritualistically protect historic buildings in England – which I have also noticed on the huge stone monuments in Vingis Park) and the type of lotus flower motif found in British Museum collections of Ming vases – all of which encircles a sigil in the centre of the flower’s carpellary receptacle. I believe the British Museum vases are likely to have been originally extracted by colonial powers and I integrate the lotus with the hexafoil as a reconciliatory gesture. I hope the witch mark can also perform its literal function of guarding the gallery from evil, all while the sigil manifests an intention that no one else may ever know.
There is authority and power in this witch mark cum sigil, but it is incorporeal. As is customary in chaos magic, sigils should be physically destroyed once their message has been imprinted in the subconsciousness of the viewer – and I hope that the flow of feet over 6 Petalled Lotus Wheel will do its bidding, step by innocent step.
Off you go.
Dear my friends
…How far can we stretch our mouth? And how far can we stretch our time? Can we nurture and feed ourselves with words? Can we put it in the hot container and embody it as forms of slow knowledge? …
Valerie Tee Lee will invite people to her cooking~poetry~performance accompanied with her fragmented film. She will bring us to the slow luncheon time and we will be communally feeding, slurping, reciting, chewing, swallowing, feeling, digesting words slowly and carefully. She says sometimes we are in needs for filling our stomach up with words by words instead of substantial nutrition;
the words like ~mum and onions, mosquito nets and garlic, fish hands and big spring onions~ At the end of the luncheon time, she will expect us to make a small garden with (he/her)stories and oral transmissions.
2021, Cooking (Poetry) Performance (variable duration)
I want to invite you to taste my edible (he/her)stories. My edible (hi/her)stories are in the hot container. (be careful of hot soup!) My edible (he/her)stories contain embodied knowledge and slow knowledge. I will take you on a slow journey to taste and digest the (my) words in the edible (he/her)stories which warm you up and feed you up with care and love. It will travel across your mouth, gum, teeth and tongue. Your mouth will slurp, swallow and chew the hot liquid~rooted~communal~slow~small words. And the words travel arounds the deeper and inner hollow of your mouth,
Shall we slowly read it together?
Shall we taste each vocabularies together?
here are root words
(………………………………..this bracket is for your root words………………………………..) here are liquid words
(………………………………..this bracket is for your liquid words………………………………..) here are communal words
(………………………………..this bracket is for your communal words………………………………..) here are small words
(………………………………..this bracket is for your small words………………………………..) and here are slow words
(………………………………..this bracket is for your slow words………………………………..)
Linas Gabrielaitis and Austėja Masliukaitė
Spectral Alliances of the Forest
Responding to the exhibition, our video examines the voice of authority of a forest. What voice leads its growth, mentors the trees, provokes their branches, guides their roots? The forest reminds us that authority, without a body of its own, can only manifest itself through other, partial things.
We follow the negative spaces engraved by trees, their branches and roots, speculating on the relationship between the forest and ancestral memory. Trees and specters grow together by paying attention, protecting, avoiding, nesting, hosting, accommodating and growing around each other.
The video is the result of continuous responses between artists-
Linas Kristupas Gabrielaitis forages the trees into virtual containers.
Krisztina Wagner enters virtual reality to create the body of the incorporeal.
Austėja Masliukaitė gives authority a musical voice.
George Finlay-Ramsay and Emma Bang
Crystal Meth Jonas In the Court of Augustus the Strong
Crystal Meth Jonas In the Court of Augustus the Strong is a textpiece by Emma Bang & George Finlay Ramsay, which is made in dialogue with the exhibition Authority Incorporeal at the Tech Arts gallery. It is a freewheeling call and response that sits in between an ‘irrelevant fantasy’ and ‘the only viable reality, in the form of telegram messages between us, the authors, emma & george’. It builds on their already existing writing ritual The Crystal Meth Jonas Chronicles.
A veritable stork omlette of the real and the unfeasible, it reaches us via the tongues of polyamorous hipster vampires, heartbroken horses and The Interplanetary Woman
We follow CMJ & Augustus on their quest of looking for truth with a pin and uncovering the intangible powers that drive them forward, navigating the lizard peoples, fox tossing, alchymist secrets and the unbearable burden of being an angel painter.
Join the telegram group to get your daily dose of this high strength linguistic drug (for around a week or so)
Mappe Altari (Altar Maps)
Virginia Russolo introduces three objects belonging to the category of Mappe Altari (Altar Maps) into the space of Authority Incorporeal.
Mappe Altari are tools for exploration and information gathering; maps for physical and non-physical journeys. They create a situation similar to board games or maps, in which objects are moved on a surface of symbols. These works are underpinned by an interest in the dynamics of ritual, the fetish object and the proximity of play and the sacred. Visitors are invited to intuitively explore the surfaces of these sculptures primarily made out of animal materials such as beeswax, wool grease, propolis and leather.
These materials are to the artist archives of information and can act as gateways into larger cycles of transformation of matter on earth. The materials used, and the ritualistic process of applying them, work to protect the information on the surface of the works. These apotropaic actions form part of the artist’s research into the spiritual agency of animal materials, highlighting how Mappe Altari exist in a fruitful struggle between the corporeal and incorporeal.
Mappa Altare 2, 2021, beeswax, wool wax, animal fur, paper, pigment, cotton, wood board, 17 x 25 x 33 cm
Mappa Altare 3, 2021, beeswax, wool wax, paper, pigment, cotton, wood board, 13.5 x 25 x 33 cm
Mappa Altare 4, 2021, beeswax, wool wax, paper, pigment, cotton, wood board, 11 x 25 x 33 cm