‘Bodymerge’ international performative lecture series at SODAS 2123

The series of performative lectures ‘Bodymerge’ will begin on 6 October at 6pm at SODAS 2123 (Vitebsko 23, Vilnius), in which Lithuanian and international artists will expand the boundaries of the lecture format in presenting their latest work.

The body in the title of the series did not appear by chance: performative gestures and bodily transformations are the starting point for all the invited artists. However, their paths later diverge: some wander around the lands of mythical creatures, others study underwater forms of life, others study interspecies animals, while some gather their research material in the streams of the collective memory and popular culture. These explorations will be interspersed in a series of performative lectures with presentations of accomplished works, and musical and visual interludes, sometimes involving the bodies of the audience themselves.

The first episode in the series will take listeners into the space of shadows, the territories of mythological characters, memories, nightclubs, and secret communities. Using choreography, music and writing, the French artist Paul Maheke and the Lithuanian Antanas Lučiūnas, explore ways of self-formation in this constrained and constructed reality.

Compiling texts of various kinds, borrowed or written by Maheke himself, ‘The Origin of Death’ is a performative lecture that takes the shape of a collective meditation on different forms of interconnectedness. Through storytelling ranging from sci-fi to diary notes, it explores the tenuous border between the visible and the invisible.

In the performative lecture, Antanas Lučiūnas will present their latest works by dissecting the thought processes behind it: from a feeling to a full body of work. The bonus lecture ‘Celebrities, Culture & Cathedral Termite Mounds’ looks into popular culture’s wabi-sabi, and what we can learn from recontextualising it.

In the second part of the ‘Bodymerge’ series, taking place at the end of autumn, the Estonian artist Kris Lemsalu, the American composer and multi-instrumentalist Kyp Malone, and the Lithuanian artist Kira Nova (Ieva Misevičiūtė) will present their recent work. At the last meeting, we will hear the thoughts of the Portuguese artist Diana Policarpo and the Lithuanian Eglė Budvytytė.

Paul Maheke (b. 1985, Brive-la-Gaillarde, France) lives and works in Montpellier in France. He completed an MA in art practice at the École nationale supérieure d’arts de Cergy (2011), and was an associate in the programme of study of Open School East in London and Margate in the UK (2015). With a focus on dance, and through a varied and often collaborative body of work, comprising performance, installation, sound and video, Maheke considers the potential of the body as an archive, in order to examine how memory and identity are formed and constituted.

Maheke’s works and performances have been shown at High Line, New York, Tate Modern, London, the Venice Biennale, Pompidou Centre,  Palais de Tokyo and Lafayette Anticipations in Paris, Baltic Triennial 13, Manifesta 12, Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich, and the Chisenhale Gallery, London, and elsewhere.

Antanas Lučiūnas (b. 1997, Kaunas, Lithuania) is a visual artist, vocalist and DJ. Their work combines performance art, writing and sculpture. The artist’s practice puts a strong emphasis on collaboration, in a wish to achieve a multitude of affairs, merging fragments of queer theory with personal experience and topics of intimacy, accuracy and desire systems. Their work frames itself in the mannerisms of popular music and club-like situations, with leisured choreography and physical culture, with the goal of attaining a sense of release within a controlled setting. Creating intersectional environments between scripted and improvised situations, they try to exercise a spatial understanding of where these factors are constructed, enforced conditions of life, and co-dependency. At times, these determinants are personal, and sometimes communal and normalised contingencies open conversations between the practitioners and the audience.

The ‘Bodymerge’ series is curated by Neringa Černiauskaitė.

The series is supported by the Lithuanian Council for Culture and Vilnius City Municipality