13th of October in Vilnius Academy of Arts gallery “Artifex“ will be opening Gabrielė Gervickaitė exhibition "Memory Skin".
In the discourse of biopolitics, the body of an individual is perceived in two ways – as a matter and as a politicized cultural, social construct. Michel Foucault calls it the anatomo-politics of an individual body. Grounded in power relations, the control of the body appears not only in traditionally imagined institutions of the state, such as prisons or concentration camps but in everyday life as well, in every single individual relation, for example, between the employer and the employee or between the doctor and the patient.
Prioritizing the discourse of the “correct” body image creates complicated sociopolitical consequences in society, which manifest through various psychological disorders, traumas. By trying to achieve a normative body, formed through the medical gaze, the body of an individual becomes an object of control, which is manipulated through interventional body extensions, such as pharmaceutics, prosthetics, implantations. The Latter are used to eliminate disorders, yet they also work as the mechanisms of control to the body.
Because medicine concentrates on perfecting the body of an individual, the individual itself is being dehumanized – the identity of a person is separated from the body, leaving only the vulnerable body, which surrenders to the control of the hospital. However, the texts, made of marks left from the interventional occurrences, which testify the experienced links of control, remain in the body‘s surface, in its skin, usually hidden from public reading. These marks work as a memory of the bodily experience, like a primary testimony of the survived reality, a text engraved by an antibody, not yet translated to thought or language.“My body is my story. The body is full of memories and experiences”, - says Gabrielė Gervickaitė.
In the leading installation of “Memory skin”, the artist used a waterproof oilcloth, seen in the hospitals since the Soviet times – it‘s skin-like material qualities indicate intimate friction between the body and the antibody. The artist transfers her skin memory texts onto a synthetic memory skin, where she creates a dialogue between somatic and psychological experiences.
Curator Karolina Rimkutė
About Gabrielė Gervickaitė
Gabrielė Gervickaitė (1982 m.) is a member of Lithuanian Interdisciplinary Artists‘ Association, currently a doctoral candidate in art at Vilnius Academy of Arts. In her creative work, Gervickaitė studies the relations of bodies and the medical industry. She creates artworks using her body as an archival material container and studies how and why non-normative bodies are constructed in society observing channels of contemporary media, social and political occurrences.