22.07.01 Agora Podcast: Gertrūda Gilytė presents "Neuroplasticity or I Love You Gertrūda"


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Residency Curator: Elizabeth Richardson

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Have you ever thought of knitting a love letter to yourself? Gertrūda Gilytė’s durational project: Neuroplasticity or I Love You Gertrūda, does just that. Gilytė merges knitting and TikTok-based video performance to explore self-help discourse and the rise of online mindfulness trends.

Gertrūda Gilytė uses personal development as performance, exploring how self-development practices and personal vulnerabilities may be explored as an artistic tool. Neuroplasticity or I Love You Gertrūda examines personal development through knitting, a craft and method that has proven health and wellbeing benefits, including improving neuroplasticity, lowering blood pressure and slowing the onset of dementia, as well as reducing loneliness, anxiety and depression. “Neuroplasticity” refers to the means by which neural networks may be formed or reinforced through new skills or movements.

This project represents Gilytė’s desire to also explore “the object” and its place within art history. Gilytė has made a daily commitment to knitting “I love you”s into neon green scarves and documenting her process on TikTok until one of her scarves is sold in the art market. Her definitive goal of attributing art market value to a self-improvement object seeks to reflect the means by which personal development practices are becoming increasingly commodified.

This critique is amplified through the use of TikTok as a performance space and tool, in which Gilytė submerges within a narrative of influencer culture and mainstream personal development trends. Gilytė documents this process through daily TikTok videos that take place in various performative settings, accompanied by voice-overs that explore both her personal development and the performative aspects of a digital mindfulness persona. The artist questions the sincerity of her performance throughout, as Gilytė illuminates in one TikTok: “knitting is somehow seen as being a really wholesome activity, domestic and fragile maybe, […] but does it remain the same way if it’s purely performative? If, for example, I’m not wholesome at all but want to trick you, to appear this way?”

About the artist

Gertrūda Gilytė (born 1992, Lithuania) is a New Media artist whose work revolves around the theme of “personal development as a performative practice”. In 2022, she finished her MA in Art in Context at the University of Arts, Berlin. In 2016, she graduated from Sculpture Department at Vilnius Academy of Arts. In 2015, she graduated in Political Science at Vilnius University.

#AgoraDigitalArt #GertrudaGilyte #ILoveYouGertruda #Neuroplasticity #WomenInNewMedia

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