Alexandra Pirici. 'Pulse'. Enlivenment of the Kaunas Ninth Fort Monument

2020 10 03 — 2020 10 04
Author Echo Gone Wrong
Published in Events in Lithuania

Enlivenment of the Kaunas Ninth Fort Monument
October 3–4, 2020, 3–5 pm

Location: The open-air area of the Kaunas Ninth Fort Monument
Address: Žemaičių rd. 73, Kaunas
Director: Alexandra Pirici
Curator: Valentinas Klimašauskas

On October 3–4, from 3 to 5 pm, Kaunas Artists’ House, Kaunas Ninth Fort Museum and project space Swallow invite you to the choreographic project Pulse directed by Romanian artist Alexandra Pirici. The project is dedicated to the enlivenment of the monument to the victims of Nazism of Kaunas Ninth Fort created by sculptor Alfonsas Vincentas Ambraziūnas (1933-2020). The act is choreographed for a group of up to 50 performers and will take place in the open-air area of ​​the monument.

Alexandra Pirici quite oftenly uses the idea of sculpture that is moving and alive in her practice, exploring the relationship of the sculptural object and subject. Choreographing a larger group of performers, this time she proposed to enliven the sculptural concrete Kaunas Ninth Fort Monument.

Looking at the monument one could imagine the scale of tragedy and horror that it recalls, comments Romanian artist Alexandra Pirici. Touching it or interfering with it seems a matter of great care and precaution. Would there be a way in which a moving, sculptural addition of life presence and living bodies could support the monument in its anti-Nazi task?

In the reinforced concrete structures one is able to see deconstructed human bodies, and coming closer reveals prints of wooden planks that were used to shape them. The texture of the structures, rings of trees in the casts of planks slightly overgrown with moss, the surrounding meadows, the fort buildings, apple orchards, clouds rapidly crossing the skies above the surrounding Kaunas suburbs – the monument is incorporated into a very active and multilayered panorama. In order to fully perceive it, one has to move around the monument, and this journey is a very bodily and spatial experience. Accordingly, the enlivenment as proposed by Pirici echoes this experience of slow movement around, also involving sound, as if the choreography was a slowly unfolding, moving vine or an epiphytic plant made of bodies, slowly and steadily enveloping the monument and pulsing in an abstract circle that may remind of a hora – a linked circle dance, sometimes considered Jewish but also popular in the Balkans and other Eastern European countries.

Alexandra Pirici works in the contexts of museums, theatrical frameworks and public space. She choreographs ongoing actions, performative monuments and performative environments that fuse dance, sculpture, spoken word and music. Her works deal with monumentality and the history of specific places and institutions in order to playfully tackle and transform existing hierarchies. They also reflect on the history and function of gestures in art and popular culture as well as questions about the body, its presence, absence or image and the politics of capture.

Her works have been exhibited at the decennial art exhibition Skulptur Projekte Munster 2017, the Romanian Pavilion of the 55th Venice Biennale, Tate Modern London, New Museum in New York, Art Basel Messeplatz, the 9th Berlin Biennale, Manifesta 10, Centre Pompidou in Paris, Museum Ludwig Cologne, Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, HAU Theatre in Berlin, Museum of Modern Art Warsaw, the Chicago Architecture Biennale, among many others.

More information about the project:
More information about the monument and Kaunas Ninth Fort Museum:
Arrival to the location:

There is a bus leaving from the Vilnius Coach Station every day at 12:40 (Vilnius – Kryžkalnis – Klaipėda) which stops at the Kaunas Ninth Fort (name of the stop: Devintas Fortas).

Organisers: Kaunas Artists’ House, Kaunas Ninth Fort Museum, Project Space Swallow
Team: Nicoleta Andrei, Rita Dabulskytė, Edgaras Gerasimovičius, Edvinas Grinkevičius, Saulė Noreikaitė, Marius Pečiulis, Rūta Stepanovaitė
Graphic design: Inga Navickaitė-Drąsutė
Translation and proofreading: Alexandra Bondarev
The project is financed by Lithuanian Council for Culture
Partners: The Jewish Community of Kaunas
Information partners:,, Kaunas pilnas kultūros, Kauno diena

Thanks to: Contemporary Dance Association, Dance studio “Infinitum”, Lithuanian Dance Information Centre, LMTA Department of dance and movement, Audrius Pocius, Vaida Stepanovaitė