An exhibition by artist Maria Kapajeva The Dream Is Wonderful, Yet Unclear will be opened at the Vilnius Photography Gallery (Stiklių str. 4 / Didžioji str. 19) on Wednesday February 19th, 5:30 pm.
London-based Estonian artist Maria Kapajeva presents a body of work she developed between 2014 and 2017 in her hometown Narva. She focused on the social legacy of the textile mill Kreenholm, which was closed down in 2010 after 150 years of existence. The history of the mill is closely intertwined with local people’s stories over several generations. The mill closure marked the end of an era, and was deeply traumatic for the town’s remaining families. The exhibition is based on interviews the artist conducted with former workers of the mill and from the family albums, diaries, and memorabilia she collected. With this exhibition Kapajeva reveals the wider story of this region, where rapid change from late socialism to harsh capitalism wiped out entire industries and their supply, production and other formal and informal networks.
As the daughter of the mill’s textile designer, Kapajeva spent her childhood visiting the factory where both of her parents worked, drawing fabric patterns and dreaming about someday having the same job as her mother. This body of work interweaves her mother’s work, and the artist’s childhood dreams and failures with the workers’ collective story to underline the division between personal and collective memories that together form our shared historical narratives.
The title of the exhibition is taken from March of Enthusiasts, written for the Soviet film The Bright Way (1940), starring Lubov Orlova in the role of a female weaver who makes her ‘Cinderella’ journey from peasant to Stakhanovite, a heroic worker. The song was a hit during the Stalinist era, although the line used as a title of this exhibition was censored and changed due to the suggestion of doubt in the word ‘unclear’. The idea of a wonderful dream is intended as a common thread throughout the exhibition but so too is the lack of clarity that characterises our memories of the past.
The Dream Is Wonderful, Yet Unclear will be exhibited till March 14th.
Exhibition is partly funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture.