One of the largest international contemporary art festivals in the Baltic region, the 13th Kaunas Biennial (Lithuania) will take place from 12 November 2021 to 20 February 2022. The exhibition, titled “Once Upon Another Time… gyveno jie jau kitaip” offers reflections on current global situations, including the pandemic, with a curatorial project that explores human resilience and adaptation. Curated by Josée Drouin-Brisebois, the biennial investigates different forms of storytelling and narrative in contemporary art. At times these stories are grounded in myths and fictions associated with the passage of time, transformation and evolution. In other moments they explore experienced personal and communal tales of survival. The exhibition proposes a sharing of stories rooted in diverse worldviews and moments in time, from the past, present and even the future. The biennial will bring together 23 international artists and groups from Lithuania, Poland, Germany, France, United Kingdom, USA, Canada and Brazil. Ten new artworks are being commissioned for the 13th Kaunas Biennial, an event which will be one of the most significant contemporary art events opening Kaunas European Capital of Culture 2022. Drouin-Brisebois stated:
“Through a series of engaging encounters with contemporary art in unusual places, visitors will embark on an exploratory journey of the architectural and lived history of Kaunas, which will be animated in renewed and surprising ways. Through their artworks that convey compelling and resonant narratives, the artists consider the resilience and adaptation of living beings, as many continue to face adversity, injustice, oppression and climate change. The aim is to encourage audiences to connect through the familiarity of storytelling, to foster empathy and hopefully new understanding”.
The artists include: David Altmejd (Canada/USA), Christian Boltanski (France), Shary Boyle (Canada), Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller (Canada), Douglas Gordon (Scotland, UK), Petrit Halilaj (Kosovo/Germany), Kristina Inčiūraitė (Lithuania/Ireland), Isuma (Canada), Kapwani Kiwanga (Canada/France), Lina Lapelytė (Lithuania), Laura Lima (Brazil) together with Rasma Noreikytė (Lithuania) and Giedrė Kriaučionytė (Lithuania), Jonas Mekas (Lithuania/USA), Pakui Hardware (Neringa Černiauskaitė and Ugnius Gelguda) (Lithuania), Augustas Serapinas (Lithuania), Jeremy Shaw (Canada/Germany), Monika Sosnowska (Poland), SetP Stanikas (Svajonė and Paulius Stanikai) (Lithuania/France), Indrė Šerpytytė (Lithuania/UK), Emilija Škarnulytė (Lithuania), Althea Thauberger (Canada), Goodhearter Wisher (Vytautas Viržbickas) (Lithuania), Simona Žemaitytė (Lithuania).
A special project with the European Humanities University students from Belarus will be coordinated by Artūras Raila (Lithuania). The students include Darya Karalkova, Aliona Makhnach, Volha Mirankova, Alesia Pesenka in collaboration with the photographer Yauhen Attsetski, Aleksei Shklianko, Viktoryia Yaskevich and Yauheni Zahorski.
MAIN EXHIBITION: The House of Basketball (Santakos str. 11, Kaunas), Tadas Ivanauskas Zoology Museum (Laisvės av. 106, Kaunas) and Devils’ Museum (V. Putvinskio str. 64, Kaunas).
13th KAUNAS BIENNIAL FILM PROGRAMME* Kaunas Cinema Centre ROMUVA 12-14 November, 2021 Jonas Mekas (Lithuania/USA) film programme 20-23 January, 2022 Isuma (Canada) film programme 20 February, 2022 Petrit Halilaj (Kosovo) film showing ONLINE FILM PROGRAMME The programme include Douglas Gordon (Scotland, UK), Petrit Halilaj (Kosovo/Germany), Kristina Inčiūraitė (Lithuania), Isuma (Canada), Jonas Mekas (Lithuania/USA), Jeremy Shaw (Canada/Germany), Simona Žemaitytė (Lithuania) and more authors.
The exhibition is organized by Kaunas Biennial. The project is supported by the Lithuanian Council for Culture, Kaunas City Municipality and with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts. The event is presented in collaboration with the Office of the Embassy of Canada to Lithuania and is a part of the project Kaunas European Capital of Culture 2022.