Dorota Gawęda and Eglė Kulbokaitė
PYLON is pleased to present the online screening of "Still life of a thistle between carnations and cornflowers on a mossy forest floor" by Dorota Gawęda and Eglė Kulbokaitė starting June 16, 2023.
Dorota Gawęda and Eglė Kulbokaitė are an artist duo based in Basel, Switzerland. Both are 2012 graduates of the Royal College of Art in London. The multi-faceted practice of the duo navigates between performance, installation, sculpture, video, text, sound and scent. Creating sensory environments that directly involve the audience, using both screen technology and organic elements, they generate fragmented narratives that echo our contemporary anxieties.
Gawęda and Kulbokaitė are the recipients of the Collide Residency Award and Allegro Artist Prize 2022. They are also the founders of YOUNG GIRL READING GROUP (2013– 2021). Gawęda and Kulbokaitė are current artists in residence at Onassis Foundation in Athens.
The online screening is kindly supported by Landeshauptstadt Dresden - Amt für Kultur und Denkmalschutz and Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen.
Gefördert durch die Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen. Diese Maßnahme wird mitfinanziert durch Steuermittel auf der Grundlage des vom Sächsischen Landtag beschlossenen Haushaltes.
Still life of a thistle between carnations and cornflowers on a mossy forest floor is the title of Dorota Gawęda and Eglė Kulbokaitė video which in its title directly recalls the baroque work by the celebrated commercial painter of still lifes, Rachel Ruysch (1683).
The video is a short critical fabulation on the idea of Nature. In the eyes of the protagonist arise reflections of chimeric dissolving creatures which escape classification and fixity and haunt the onlooker. Coming in and out of focus is also her face drawing the parallels between the instability of different representations. Produced with the aid of a Generative Adversarial Network, the reflections contest the art-historicised trope of still life as technologically framed image in equal measures pointing to the hegemonies of representation in art production as much as to the emerging algorithmic systems which increasingly build our understanding of the surrounding world.
With this piece Gawęda and Kulbokaitė open up an important process of investigation into the concept of ‘Nature’ as that, which has been traditionally defined as outside to the subject; and the illusory promise of a body as whole and separate to the environment and its technological mediations. The video is accompanied by an original soundtrack produced by the artists in collaboration with composer Haraldur Thrastarson and singer Abongile Gwele.