Anthropomorphic Trouble is a collaborative project initiated by Goda Palekaitė and joined by Adrijana Gvozdenović.
Adopting the lens of "Earth as a historical figure" as a mode of storytelling and as a narrative device, the project takes the coastal region of Dorset (UK) as a speculative context through which to simultaneously address ecological challenges, deep time and geological formations and to unearth the troubled relationship between humans and the Earth.
From Mesopotamian personification of Ki to Incan Pachamama, to Greek Gaia - the narratives related to Earth - have often endowed the planet with human, often female features, behaviours and occurrences, including family tree, romantic relationships, personality, and other humanistic description.
Today, the dominant Western perspective sees the Earth as a quantifiable repository of resources, which are now running out and are waiting to be saved, only to then be then extracted again.
Since the 18th century onwards, ‘historians of the earth’, scientists, philosophers, writers, and political figures have warned about the rapidly changing conditions of the environment. Yet these warnings have been left unheeded and the mechanisms of growing capitalism, global trade, displacement of humans, animals and plants, and military powers have continued to increase the exploitation of the earth.
Articulated through a three-part residency in Lyme Regis (Dorset), London and Sheffield, the project looks at the work of early, often invisible ‘historians of the earth’ to decipher how contemporary, extractive modes of anthropomorphisation of the Earth, necessarily dictate the shape the Earth takes.
Over the course of a year, Goda Palekaitė and Adrijana Gvozdenović will travel to Dorset to explore the Jurassic Coast. The cliffs in the region date from the late Triassic to early Jurassic periods, and its topography stores evidence of millions of years of evolution – almost a continuous sequence of rock formations spanning the entire Mesozoic Era, in which the top of the food chain was dominated by what is now called Dinosauria. Here, Mary Anning was twelve years old when she uncovered the first-ever dinosaur skeleton, followed by numerous others. Without a formal education, through her findings Anning highly influenced Charles Darwin and the theory of evolution.
Today, this area of outstanding natural beauty is entangled with the tourism industry, various military bases, as well as the largest onshore oil field in western Europe.
Through the practices of writing, drawing, interviewing, and archiving, the artists will start their journey with the geography of Dorset, exploring the intersection of personal history, discourses of science and law, and observations of tourism and exploitation. The project will culminate in a public programme in late 2021.
The project is produced collaboratively by Arts Catalyst and Schizma (LT), and supported by Lithuanian Council for Culture, Lithuanian Ministry of Culture and Hasselt University.
(Lithuania) is an artist working in the intersection of contemporary art, performance, artistic research, literature, and anthropology. Her practice evolves around projects exploring the politics of historical narratives, the agency of dreams and imagination, and social conditions of creativity. Her recent solo shows were opened at the Centre Tour à Plomb in Brussels (“Architecture of Heaven” 2020), Konstepidemin in Gothenburg (“Liminal Minds” 2019) and RawArt Gallery in Tel Aviv (“Legal Implications of a Dream” 2018). In the last years, her performances and installations have been presented at the Vilnius international theatre festival “Sirenos”, “Swamp pavilion” in The Biennale Architettura 2018 in Venice, Atletika gallery and Contemporary Art Center in Vilnius, The Institute of Things to Come in Turin, among others. In 2019 Palekaitė received The Golden Stage Cross and the Young Artist’s Prize from the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture. Goda is based in Brussels. In 2020 the artist published her first book of fiction “Schismatics” (LAPAS books) and started an artistic Ph.D. position at Hasselt University. palekaite.space
(Montenegro) is an artist interested in artists’ motivation and ways of resisting (self)institutionalised structures. In the last three years, she has been developing methods of collecting and annotating symptomatic artistic practices that recognise their anxiety as a prerequisite state for criticality. One of those is a card-reading publication “7 anxieties and the world” that she performed during the 2019, among some: at FairShare: self-publishing as an artistic practice (CIAP Hasselt), during the “victories over the suns” in Brussels and for “The Hub – Between the iliac crest & the pubic bone” (GMK Zagreb). The research in these forms of “otherwise exhibiting” was supported by a.pass (a platform for artistic research, based in Brussels) and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp and it has been published this year in an online publication ArchivingArtisticAnxieties.me