Kunstal Gent hosts The Institute of Things to Come, a traveling program curated by Valerio Del Baglivo that comprises a yearly-thematic program of performances, workshops, publications and exhibitions.
At Kunsthal Gent, The Institute of Things to Come presents an exhibition by artist Goda Palekaitė titled The Strongest Muscle in the Human Body is the Tongue and a new performance by artist Quinsy Gario titled Tracing a memory pt. 2. Both artists weave together historical facts and personal accounts through performances, storytelling and writing, with the aim of deconstructing the grand narratives underlying hegemonic discourses on race, identity, gender and origin.
Location: The Old House
The exhibition is on view until 13/06/2021
Artist and activist Quinsy Gario focuses his work on decolonial remembering and on the actions that such remembering can engender. While giving a lecture on Dutch colonization, decolonization movements, and contemporary concerns of recolonization in the Caribbean, the artist will be attempting to synchronize a post-war governmental documentary on St. Maarten, a former Dutch colony in the Caribbean with a new film he shot in 2019 to revisit those exact locations.
Tracing a memory pt. 2 will be presented at Kunsthal Gent and later launched online on the websites of both The Institute and Kunsthal Gent, from the 14th to the 21th of June.
The work of 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”. In this regard, her new exhibition The Strongest Muscle in the Human Body is the Tongue uses literature produced by historical and contemporary female writers, mystics and saints as a tool to reflect on the power of speaking and writing about sexuality and the body. 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.
The Institute of Things to Come is an itinerant art programme aimed at investigating forms of imaginative speculation as cultural strategies and methodologies for critical positions. Founded in 2017 by artist Ludovica Carbotta and curator Valerio Del Baglivo, the Institute focuses each year on a different theme, inviting artists who use speculative and fictional arguments to imagine possible alternatives and propose positions of social critique. Since 2017 the programme has collaborated with Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo (Turin), Universita degli Studi di Torino, Grazer Kunstverein (Graz).
The 2021 program questions the categories of alterity in opposition to current politics of sovereignty, national belonging, and heteronormative approaches in times of globally-expanded populist politics.