Online exhibition 'Heterotopia'. Experimental visual practice from Lithuania

August 28, 2020
Author Echo Gone Wrong

Heterotopias can be understood in contrast with dominant spaces. The term, first coined by Michel Foucault, is used to conceptualize the intermediary: between that which is and that which is not, or that which is not yet, but still could be. This exhibition features a new generation of Lithuanian and Lithuania-based multimedia artists, and uses the notion of heterotopia as a curatorial framework to house choice works which testify to the existence of micro-worlds which both underlie and exceed our own. The myriad of subjects investigated by this suite of artists serves to exemplify, complicate and develop the notion of the heterotopic.

The unattainability of the subject of the photograph is directly connected to our (in)ability to actually apprehend it; and yet, it is sometimes only through our gaze that any experience of otherworldly places are even possible. Our experience of the photographic exhibition is therefore not only about accessing the object through the image, but also about crossing the line of what is possible — stepping into the other side of human capabilities, seeing the unseen.

Photography — a technology of the gaze par excellence — evidences the coinciding of human and non-human forces, an idea further explored by artists who incorporate the use of digital technologies intended for non-artistic purposes. These have served to elongate and extend the reach of human sight to non-human places and proportions. As such, technologies of the gaze share resonances with the concept of heterotopia, insofar as they displace a human-centered point of view, and permit access to alternative worlds. The conceptual framework of the non-human gaze thereby becomes another realm for photographic thought, one which constructively rewrites its history. But no one, not even the artist, can profess pure agency over their technology; the technology in turn fundamentally changes us and the way we see too. Find yourself on the surface of an unknown land. Inaccessible and placeless, but as real as it can be.

Online Exhibition
On View: Aug 27 – 10 Sept 2020
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Curated by: Katažyna Jankovska
Co-curator: Maya Hristova
Editor: Elaine Tam

Artists: Dalia Mikonytė & Adomas Žudys, Geistė Marija Kinčinaitytė, Ignas Pavliukevičius, Kotryna Ūla Kiliulytė, Šarūnas Kvietkus, Valentyn Odnoviun