ELAINE (MEI LIN) TAM



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is an itinerant curator, writer, researcher from Hong Kong currently living and working in London. She collaborates with artists and thinkers to create new forms and forums for critical engagement; her practice is an interdisciplinary site for play, pleasure, gesture, enquiry and, importantly, failure. Research interests include psychoanalytic theory, performance writing and feminist new materialisms.



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Galerija Vartai
Vilniaus g. 39
Vilnius 01102
Lithuania

PV Wednesday 5 February 2020
6 February — 13 March 2020

smooth space, pleated is a solo-presentation of new work by Geistė Kinčinaitytė which revolves around the artist's debut film piece — a video essay entitled The Pool loosely based on the short story of the same title. This work is the result of a collaboration with curator-writer Elaine Tam, and experimental composers Simon Allen, Jan Hendreickse and Sandro Mussida. The culmination of a long-standing fascination with the unheimlich, Kinčinaitytė uses image-making to draw out the mesmeric charge of naturally-occurring phenomena: bodies of water, barren lands and interior cavities.

The abandoned body, a prominent figure which recurs throughout Kinčinaitytė’s early photographic works, can be understood as a place where the familiar and foreign converge. In her early series The Wake, she resurrects the female nude by rotating the image 90 degrees, an act that transforms the landscape body. Its passive horizontality becomes a sluggish erection, an unnatural suspension invoking the uncanny, revealing the erotic nude as always already a corpse. In smooth space, pleated, the landscape becomes this very body in question.

A sense of violence pervades acts of image-making that look to represent or animate that which is perceived as passive — from exposure to the editing cut. In resistance, Kinčinaitytė orients herself towards an alternative means of engaging with a terrestrial subreality. Privileging intuition over knowing, vulnerability over apprehension, this openness itself becomes a site of psychical and physical boundary-crossing. This mutual exchange — a folding — visually figures as the shore and is central to The Pool in literal and metaphoric senses. Symbolic of limit, incursion and threshold, the shore is the site par excellence for incantations of, or encounters with Otherness. The camera that insists on capture discovers that landscapes are agentic, generative bodies, evading fixed explanation and instead appealing to fluid modes of fictioning.

smooth space, pleated considers the enfolding of different forms of beings and bodies through experiments of a geopoetic nature. Continuing interests developed in Kincinaityte’s previous project You Belong to Me (2015), what begins as documentation soon becomes a sensuous love letter, one shared between human and non-human forces.

Geistė Kinčinaitytė is a Lithuanian artist and researcher. She is currently undertaking her PhD in Film and Screen Studies at the University of Cambridge. Her research interests include media archaeology, artists’ films and installations.

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Solastalgia, an excellent in-depth review by Joginte Bucinskaite, is available on Echo Gone Wrong.

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The Pool
2020
Single-channel video, with sound
14 minutes

Video essay by Geistė Kinčinaitytė
Script by Elaine Tam
Sound by Simon Allen, Jan Hendrickse and Sandro Mussida
Funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture

(Full video available upon request)