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Eglė Budvytytė, Songs from the compost: mutating bodies, imploding stars, 2020. In collaboration with Marija Olšauskaitė & Julija Steponaitytė.
Songs from the compost is shot in the lichen forest and sand dunes of the Curonian Spit in Lithuania. Eglė Budvytytė cast mostly local youths for a choreography that engages in intimacy and relates the human body to other bodies — those of the forest, the sand dunes and the water. The horizontality in movement undoes the usual verticality of human figure, unfurling her into the landscape.
One of the key elements in the video work is the accompanying musical composition written and narrated by the artist herself. The lyrics draw on the work and words of biologist Lynn Margulis and science-fiction author Octavia Butler. Lynn Margulis became known for her significant research on symbiosis in evolutionary theory, as opposed to the traditional Darwinian ‘survival of the fittest’ approach. Margulis’ work can be read as a true celebration of the role of bacteria in enabling life and the collaboration between single-celled organisms. The work of Octavia Butler reflects on this notion in a more literary way, exploring topics such as symbiosis, mutation and hybridity as a means of challenging hierarchical thinking and categorisation.
Songs from the compost is a hypnotic exploration of non-human forms of consciousness and different dimensions of symbiotic life: interdependence, surrender, death and decay.
19:30 Screening Songs from the compost: mutating bodies, imploding stars (28’10”)
20:00 Talk and Q&A with Eglė Budvytytė
21:00 Bar open
Eglė Budvytytė (LT, 1981) lives and works in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and Vilnius, Lithuania. This video was also included in The Milk of Dreams, the central exhibition of the Venice Biennale, curated by Cecilia Alemani.
This screening is part of Rights of Nature, a two-day cross-disciplinary program by SLARG, in close collaboration with Klimaatfestival Antwerpen, Curatorial Studies KASK Gent, FOMU, and Kunsthal Extra City. Rights of Nature explores the role of law, philosophy and arts in relation to "the rights of nature". It brings together various forms of research and translates this to a wide audience.
Image: Installation view Revolting Times at Kunsthal Extra City, Eglė Dudvytytė, Songs from the compost: Mutating bodies, imploding stars © We Document Art
Image: Stills from Songs from the compost: Mutating bodies, imploding stars - 2020 (in collaboration with Marija Olšauskaitė and Julija Steponaitytė) © Eglė Dudvytytė