Video installations of new films by the outstanding Lithuanian contemporary artist Deimantas Narkevičius are presented in the large hall of the National Gallery of Art. They include the première of the film Stains and Scratches, evoking the staging the Vilnius student world of the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar by Andrew Lloyd Webber at the beginning of the 1970s, a significant albeit not very well-known event in Soviet-era alternative culture; and the 2016 film 07.20.2015, documenting the dismantling of the Soviet sculptures from the Green Bridge in Vilnius, which was acknowledged by the jury at the international Oberhausen Short Film Festival with a special mention. The works give the audience a new perceptual experience in the architecture of darkness designed by the architect Gintaras Kuginis, and highlight pre-eminently the basic conceptual grounding of Narkevičius’ creative work in discourses of memory and memorialising. These and the older films in the show, Countryman (2002), Revisiting Solaris (2007) and The Dud Effect (2008), critically address the friction between the personal and collective memory and the present, and the politicisation of relations with monuments that perpetuate collective memories. Collating conventional single-channel and unusual, fantastic (stereoscopic) film viewing modes in the common space highlights the duality of seeing and perceiving: the perpetual interconnection between what is real and what is virtual (imaginary, artificially constructed, imposed) that affects everyday life and a person’s social consciousness. The title of the exhibition draws attention to both the visible material traces of time imprinted in and transmitted by old celluloid and other works of art, and to the stains and scratches in our self-awareness.
Curator Lolita Jablonskienė
Architect Gintaras Kuginis
Designer Vytautas Volbekas
Project coordinator Giedrius Gulbinas
Exhibition organiser Lithuanian Art Museum, National Gallery of Art
This project was partly financed by the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture, Lithuanian Culture Council
Media sponsors: lrytas.lt, artnews.lt