Young Girl Reading Group was established in 2013 by Dorota Gawęda and Eglė Kulbokaitė. The epithet derives from Tiqqun’s 1999 publication Preliminary Materials For a Theory of the Young-Girl
, which proposes the concept of the Young-Girl, a category identified as neither age nor gender-specific, but rather as a product of consumer society and the epitome of its model citizen
THE YOUNG-GIRL IS THAT WHICH, BEING ONLY THIS, SCRUPULOUSLY OBEYS THE AUTHORITARIAN DISTRIBUTION OF ROLES.
The Young-Girl is the commodity specially assigned to the circulation of standard affects.
YGRG was formed in order to read aloud, to share text collectively as an alternative to solitary reading, and to consider what constitutes a voice in today’s world of social media, celebrity culture and all-encompassing capital. Their concern is to address the underlying system that called forth the Young-Girl and to infiltrate the gendered structure of the Internet. They focus on texts from the history of feminist theory, proposing that such texts are still confined to the arena of counter-culture rather than seen as part of the canon. Their aim is to create a rhizomatic network permeating the system and to promote an alternative gender politics.
The experience of collective reading is thus extended into the domain of live performance and self-documentation and is mediated through the Internet, social media and immersive installation. The readers inhabit spaces constructed by YGRG in relation to their chosen texts as they read from mobile devices. These constructions suggest a physical augmentation of the text and offer a focus for considering the relationship between the body of the performer, the text being read and the surrounding environment.
This latest work,Body Heat, deploys quotations from Richard Sennett’s Flesh and Stone: The Body and the City in Western Civilization (1994) in which he considers the history of the city as told through people’s bodily experience – how they moved, what they heard and smelled, what they wore and how they made love – and suggests that this corporeal relationship to urban architecture is crucial to the history of gender politics. YGRG combine Sennett’s words with selections from other writers including their own writing and the performers lie on a carpet under a heat lamp inscribed with quotations from the collated text. An orange curtain subdivides the room, creating a stage for the performers, while photographs from previous performances function as a backdrop for the performers, as a prop onto which they scratch words during the reading, and later as evidence of the body’s centrality to the installation even in its absence. Throughout the performance and exhibition an aroma-diffuser releases a scent that the artists commissioned from the parfumier Caroline Dumur at IFF Inc. Her brief was to create a smell that embodies the concept of the Young-Girl.