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. Through the means of performance, storytelling and writing, both artists weave together historical facts and personal accounts with the aim of deconstructing the grand narratives underlying hegemonic discourses on race, identity, gender and origin.
Location: The Old House
Artist and activist Quinsy Gario focuses his work on decolonial remembering and on the actions that such remembering can engender. Tracing a memory pt. 2. is a new performance by Quinsy Gario, in which he reflects on Dutch colonization, decolonization movements in the Caribbean and contemporary concerns of recolonization. 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.
The performance is pre-recorded in Kunsthal Gent and will be on view in Kunsthal Gent and later launched online on the websites of both The Institute and Kunsthal Gent, from the 14th to the 21th of June. Video and editing: Shivadas De Schrijver.
Quinsy Gario is a visual and performance artist from the Caribbean islands that have Dutch colonization in common. He focuses on decolonial remembering and the actions that that remembering can engender. His most well-known work, Zwarte Piet Is Racisme (2011–2012), critiqued the general knowledge surrounding the racist Dutch figure and practice of Zwarte Piet (Black Pete), later bringing into the open the governmental institutional support that keeps the figure alive in the Netherlands. He has an academic background in media studies, gender studies and postcolonial studies, is a graduate of the Master Artistic Research program at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague and APASS in Brussels, and was a recurring participant of the Black Europe Body Politics conference series.
He received the Royal Academy Master Thesis Prize 2017, the Black Excellence Award 2016, the Amsterdam Fringe Festival Silver Award 2015, the Dutch Caribbean Pearls Community Pearl Award 2014 and the Hollandse Nieuwe 12 Theatermakers Prize 2011. In 2017 he received a Humanity in Action Detroit Fellowship and in 2017/2018 he was a BAK Fellow. Gario is a board member of De Appel, a member of Family Connection and of the pan-African artist collective State of L3.
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”.
Her exhibition The strongest muscle in the human body is the tongue is presented in the Old House and looks at historical and contemporary female writers and writings by mystics and saints to reflect on the power of speaking and writing in relation to the body and sexuality. 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.
Goda Palekaitė (Vilnius, 1987) is an artist and researcher whose work can be described as a combination of artistic, theatrical and anthropological practices. It evolves around long-term projects exploring the politics of historical narratives, the agency of dreams and collective imagination, and social conditions of creativity. Their outcomes usually manifest as performances, scenographies, installations, and texts. Her solo show “Legal Implications of a Dream” was recently opened at the RawArt gallery in Tel Aviv and the Art Cube Artists’ Studios, Jerusalem. In the last year her performances and installations have been presented at the “Swamp pavilion” in The Biennale Architettura 2018 in Venice, Contemporary Art Center (CAC) and the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre in Vilnius, and Kanal - Centre Pompidou in Brussels. In 2019 Palekaitė received The Golden Stage Cross (highest Lithuanian theatre award). Goda is based in Brussels and Vilnius.
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.