The Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania is inviting visitors to the exhibition “Metaphysics of the frame”, featuring a retrospective of the early work of the Lithuanian cinematographer Audrius Kemežys (1973-2018).
The title of the exhibition is not accidental. “A metaphysics of the frame born at the intersection of truth and beauty” is a quote from film director Giedrė Beinoriūtė’s conversation with Audrius Stonis about Kemežys’ unadorned sense of harmony between reality and the beauty of the moment in her book “Cinematographer Audrius Kemežys. A Moment to Adjust Colours” (Kino operatorius Audrius Kemežys. Akimirksnis spalvoms suderinti) (Monoklis, 2022).
This description is also fitting for the photographs in the exhibition – Kemežys’ early attempts from 1985, when he started attending the photography club at the Birštonas Culture Centre, during the first years of Lithuanian independence, when he worked as a photographer at the Centre for Contemporary Art, and until around 1998, when he graduated from the Film and Television Department of the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, where he studied cinematography. Kemežys is considered one of the most unique cinematographers of his generation and a filmmaker of enormous creative potential, who has impressively conveyed a sense of universality in his cinematography.
The works selected for the exhibition, which stand out for their conceptual experiments, vividly convey the beginnings of the artist’s creative style – a particular attention to light, subtlety and attentiveness to the most delicate moments of everyday life – which we can recognise in the experimental video art, documentaries and feature films that have preserved his later work as a cinematographer.
Waving tree branches, rooms lined with the fragments of index cards or an old man’s step by the seaside depicted in the monochrome photographs, as well as other images of everyday life exhibited in the retrospective of A. Kemežys’ work, can be perceived as moments of real, felt life, highlighted by the artist’s gaze and meticulously woven into the narrative of the meaning of our existence.
Audrius Kemežys is a Lithuanian cinematographer who graduated as a cinematographer from the Theatre and Cinema Department of the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre in 1998. During his 20 years of work, Kemežys has shot about 60 feature films, documentaries, short films and experimental films, without which it would be difficult to imagine contemporary Lithuanian cinema. He was the director of the first 3D film by contemporary artist Deimantas Narkevičius, “20.07. 2015” (2016) and other works of video art. He has worked with Lithuanian film directors such as Giedrė Beinoriūtė (“Po didžiojo kino”, 2005; “Pokalbiai rimtomis temomis”, 2012), Audrius Stonys (“Ūkų ūkai”, 2006; “Aš perėjau ugnį, tu buvai su manim”, 2010; “Raminas”, 2011; “Kenotafas”, 2013; “Moteris ir ledynas”, 2016), Arūnas Matelis (“Prieš parskrendant į žemę”; 2005), Gintaras Makarevičius (“Žiemos paralelės”, 2007), Agnė Marcinkevičiūtė (“Prie rugių ir prie ugnies”, 2010) ir Giedrė Žickytė (“Kaip mes žaidėme revoliuciją”, 2011; “Meistras ir Tatjana”, 2014).
A. Kemežys’ creative path has been recognised with numerous foreign and Lithuanian awards: four Silver Cranes (Sidabrinė gervė) were awarded for his work as a cinematographer on the films “Moteris ir ledynas” (2016, dir. A. Stonys), “Meistras ir Tatjana” (2014, dir. G. Žickytė), “Aš perėjau ugnį, tu buvai su manim” (2010, dir. A. Stonys), also “Kai aš buvau partizanas” (2008, dir. V. V. Landsbergis), “Perlas” (2008, dir. Laimantas Kairys), “Varpas” (2007, dir. A. Stonys) and “Žmogus arklys” (2008, dir. A. Mickevičius).
In 2010, he received the Lithuanian Cinematographers’ Union Award, and in 2015 – the Lithuanian Cinematographers’ Association Award “Oak” (Ąžuolas). In 2018, A. Kemežys was awarded the Lithuanian National Culture and Art Prize (posthumously)
Exhibition Initiator: Aušra Trakšelytė
Exhibition Curator: Elita Užuotaitė
Exhibition Architect: Gediminas G. Akstinas
Design: Emilija Dobrovolskienė
Organiser: Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania
Thank you: Povilas Veteris for loaning artworks.
The exhibition will run from 23 March to 11 May
5th floor atrium of the National Library
Exhibition opening evening: 22 March 2023, 6 PM