Muscle Stone, video and sound, 03:03 min. Video still 

The Muscle Stone is a mythic substance capable of turning muscle to stone. It is also called the powder of strength, useful for facing oneself and widening one’s soul. The stone has been talked about for thousands of years in all corners of the world, every body and soul longed for it, every bird sang its name. Each century had its flair of what the powder of strength tasted like and what shape the Muscle Stone obtained, but one thing remained clear: it had no beginning and no end and its forces were gathered from the movement of the flesh of the world. That’s why bodies sometimes feel as if movement separates from the body – it’s the traveling Muscle Stone touching their muscle memory. There are now many believers in the world trying to reach The Muscle Stone, following their coaches or on their own. But for that to happen, one must feel free. 

Muscle Stone, video and sound, 03:03 min. Video still 

Heavy Centre exhibition view (works of mine, Emma Bang, Austėja Masliukaitė and George Finlay Ramsay visible)

About the show:

For the past six months, nine participants of the 9th edition of Rupert’s Alternative Education Programme learned, shared and worked together. Under a joint effort to explore the enticing theme of ‘Magic and Rituals’, participants created their own ways of navigating the space of alternative learning. By admitting the impossibility of capturing all works and processes under a singular conceptual framework, the exhibition offers a short but abundant peek into the outcomes of these processes. 

During the programme, magic and rituals appeared as a network of historical references and alterations of various contemporary practices. The theme connected different temporalities, ways of thinking, feeling and being in the world. It became a way of easing the demands to do things ‘in the right way’ or to ‘be in the correct discourse’. It gravitated in and out of the rigour of theory or the playfulness of experimentation. Institutional seriousness was met with an equal amount of spontaneity and unexpected encounters. 

Heavy Centre, the name of the final exhibition, was born during one of the self-organised critical review sessions and captures the atmosphere of the programme. Not the essence but rather a feeling, a temporal sensation of being in the moment. Uttered in a different context, the tongue-in-cheek elevation of this simple phrase to a noble position of the exhibition’s title defies linguistic hierarchies with frisky fluidity. Challenging hierarchies with wit and curiosity became an integral part of alternative education.

The exhibition also functions as a magical crystal ball that will allow visitors to see the past and the future. The works by Emma Bang (Denmark), Linas Gabrielaitis (Lithuania), Valerie Tee Lee (South Korea/Belgium), Austėja Masliukaitė (Lithuania), Julie Marie Mønsted (Denmark), George Finlay Ramsay (Scotland), Virginia Russolo (Italy/Greece), Aistė Marija Stankevičiūtė (Lithuania) and Bea Xu (United Kingdom/China) are outcomes of the learning process. Some of the works found their final form, while others are still in the process of becoming. Each of the works is a multilayered amalgamation capable of revealing layers of their processual past. And like a true crystal ball, Heavy Centre will also reveal the future. After five days of the presentation in Vilnius, these works and the alternative education programme’s participants will travel to Oslo (Norway) for the second part of the exhibition at Podium. In this way, visiting the exhibition in Vilnius will also offer a glimpse into the entangled event in Oslo. But like any entangled experience, it is a hazy endeavour. Between two cities, works will change their spatial position and, in some cases, even their shape.