• Opening 21.5.2021, 20:00h
  • Until 13.6.2021
  • Kunsthal Gent
  • Lange Steenstraat 14, 9000 Gent
  • Opening Times
  • Sat-Sun, 10:00-18:00h

On May 21st, at Kunstal Gent, The Institute presents the solo show of artist Goda Palekaitė titled "The Strongest Muscle in the Human Body is the Tongue".

In her work, Goda Palekaitė fuses elements of fiction, academic writing and artistic research to explore the politics of historical narratives and question the ways in which truth is validated in the academic world and beyond. Over the last few years Palekaitė has been focusing on the lives of controversial historical figures who, despite being considered dissidents, heretics or perverts, successfully overthrew deep-rooted beliefs. A group of characters that she would refer to as “schismatics”. For her new solo-show the artist presents three works to reflect to reflect on the power of speaking and writing about sexuality and the body though the workds of historical and contemporary female writers, mystics and saints.

The exhibition presents four works. The new film "I Write while Disappearing" is based on found television interviews which serve for the artist to create a fictional discussion between herself and 14 female writers. French feminists find themselves in conversation with a Brazilian mystic, an Austrian dramatist, a Soviet-Lithuanian romantic, and a number of others, in an intimate sharing of what it means to be a woman and an artist. Meanwhile, the author’s own voice pierces through: ‘If I steal does it mean that I write?’

The work "The Blazing World" presents Margaret Cavendish, a 17th-century writer and public figure in Baroque England. Today, her novel The Blazing World (1666) is considered to be the first-ever written work of science-fiction. In her writings, Cavendish wildly connects the natural sciences of her day with philosophy, speculative reasoning and fantasy, without complying with any rules, not even grammar. Her work can be read today as feminist and post-humanist, the philosophy that accounts for a world beyond the hierarchy led by anthropos.

In her video "Biographic Disobedience", the artist composes a script from the accounts of several Medieval Christian saints. She proposes to perceive these women as proto-feminist writers, even though some of them may have been illiterate. By expressing their extremely intimate, and often erotic, encounters with Jesus, they managed to challenge and revolutionise the position of woman in patriarchal Christian society. The film was created in collaboration with the performer Caterina Mora, the filmmaker Rui Calvo, and the composer Adomas Palekas.

Palekaitė scatters her own thoughts and memories within the language of the many protagonists of her exhibition, blurring the boundaries between fact and fiction and establishing a more intimate relation with history.