Group exhibition “Directions” (“Linkmės”) is comprised of works by young Lithuanian artists Bon Alog, Justina Mykolaitytė, and Austėja Masliukaitė. The three graduated from the Vilnius Academy of Arts’ Photography and media art department – it has provided them with a certain sensibility towards signs and spaces, thus enabling a tone of voice to discuss the processes of creation and destruction of physical and social structures, individuality, chaos, and anonymity. The artists’ seemingly different directions, different used media, allow them to form a very particular coordinate system, in whose axes – lead by visuals, objects or sounds – the becoming is realised.
“My exposition links and reflects on the physical and mental trajectories of a subject; I am employing the motifs of memory, navigation, the markings we purposefully leave after ourselves, and the process of seeking. All of the elements I present are unified by an upward directed vertical”, says one of the artists Justina Mykolaitytė. Together with her (self)portrait, taken in the San Gabriel mountains (USA) in 2014, Mykolaitytė presents five photographs of authentic cairns (isl. vörður) captured in Iceland (2017). Another part of her installation – small, diagonally hung white flags – is a link to the Tibetian Lung ta flags that are often tied on the mountain tops all across the world. The last element is a stone plate which is a direct quote from Justina’s graduation performance “A Lonely King” (2019).
Bon Alog presents her sculptural object-installation which further investigates the communal and individual responsibility as well as the issue of an ostensible anonymity of mass processes. “Every year, tons of sand are used for construction worldwide. I investigate the places where sand exploitation occurs and mark the illegal wars which are happening over this finite resource. Through reflections on my own childhood when building sandcastles at the beach was just an innocent game, I am attempting to look into the very process of building and the mankind’s urge to build, from ancient Egypt to the modern times, in order to rethink sand mining as an activity that is, in fact, destructive to our planet.”
The third axis is directed by Austėja Masliukaitė – in her work a disappearing subject expresses one’s last words. “It is a letter produced by an entity which no longer exists. The words are the only trace of someone who has had memories or thoughts, but who is not remembered. The addressee is being contacted in the last moments of the disappearing one’s life with a plea to imagine or remember the sender, thus, prolonging their being. However, terminating with and within a link (to) “here”, the subject “ends” without signing. And so the recipient becomes sensuous, anonymous, common, too, as they are mediated within the inevitability of ending and disappearance. And yet even the tiniest world can be named anew.”
Austėja Masliukaitė (b. 1993) lives and works in Vilnius. Having studied Mathematics and Chemistry in Edinburgh, she changed direction and graduated from BA Photography and Media Arts at the VAA as well as the Naples Academy of Fine Arts. In 2020 she received a Master’s in Semiotics from Vilnius University. Austėja writes and translates texts, creates music, participates in art projects in Lithuania and abroad, including the Lithuanian performance at the 58th Venice Biennial. She is currently a participant of the Alternative education program at the art, residency and education centre “Rupert”.
Justina Mykolaitytė (b. 1994) graduated from the Vilnius Academy of Arts’ Photography and media art department in 2019. She works predominantly with performance, photography, video art, and participates in interdisciplinary art projects. Justina performed in V. Grainytė, L. Lapelytė and R. Barzdžiukaitė’s opera-performance “Sun and Sea (Marina)” at the 58th Venice Biennial (Italy). From 2020 she has been a vocal performer in “Urbančičius’s Method”, an experimental play by director and composer Arturas Bumšteinas at the Lithuanian State Youth Theatre.
Bon Alog (b. 1990) graduated from the Vilnius Academy of Arts’ Photography and media art department in 2019. In her work she combines photographic and cinematic media, video art, sculptural elements and installation. Bon currently lives in Austria where she is doing a Master’s in Time-based media; she also participates in various international artistic workshops and exhibitions.