Photo reportage from the exhibition 'Newbie' by Viltė Bražiūnaitė and Tomas Sinkevičius at Pilot, Vienna

The exhibition “Newbie” revolves around alien quagga mussels. Originating in the Black Sea, quagga found their way into European and North American freshwaters through intensified global trade, and have been declared invasive. One of the first quagga mussels in Europe was spotted in the Danube River in 2005. Since then, the resilient mussel can be found at every depth in the river.

Quagga easily adapt to different waters, rapidly spreading and densely attaching to surfaces, forming clusters that disrupt essential water infrastructure and filtration systems. In the exhibition, the artists appropriate the qualities of quagga mussels to reflect on the management of invasive species, and how it aligns with our perception of nature.

The wall objects, made from ground mussels, cling to the walls bending their off-white arms to adapt to the wooden interior carvings. In the dim light, vaguely anthropomorphic shapes transition between the skeletons of unknown life forms and compact tripods. The video work depicts a retail-like environment that is gradually engulfed by quagga mussels. The futuristic sounds, brittle shell cracks, and chirping insects stretch into the exhibition room, playing out various scenarios of species set loose.

Tomas Sinkevičius and Vilte Bražiūnaitė are a Lithuanian artist duo collaborating since 2014. The duo focuses on the interconnected subjects of late capitalist consumption and climate anxiety in a world full of planetary shifts. With attention to the numerous possibilities of digital culture, they shed light on the ongoing changes in our environment due to anthropogenic pollution.

PILOT is a project space founded in 2017 by three roommates and artists Ani Gurashvili, Vika Prokopaviciute and Niclas Schöler, who decided to use their grand Durchgangszimmer (a connecting room) as an exhibition space. PILOT has been run in different constellations with a wide variety of artistic projects having been realised at regular intervals, with Niclas Schöler currently in charge of the programming. PILOT is a platform for a wide spectrum of different artistic positions, with a special curatorial focus on feminist and queer positions.

Artists: Viltė Bražiūnaitė and Tomas Sinkevičius
Exhibition title: Newbie
Venue: Pilot, Vienna, Austria
Date: May 16 – June 10, 2024
Photography: Kunst-Dokumentation.com / all images courtesy of the artists and Pilot

Tomas Sinkevicius and Vilte Braziunaite, installation view Newbie, Pilot, Vienna, 2024

Tomas Sinkevicius and Vilte Braziunaite, installation view Newbie, Pilot, Vienna, 2024

Tomas Sinkevicius and Vilte Braziunaite, installation view Newbie, Pilot, Vienna, 2024

Tomas Sinkevicius and Vilte Braziunaite, Newbie (2024), ground mussel shells, acrylic resin, dimensions variable

Tomas Sinkevicius and Vilte Braziunaite, installation view Newbie, Pilot, Vienna, 2024

Tomas Sinkevicius and Vilte Braziunaite, Newbie (2024), ground mussel shells, acrylic resin, dimensions variable

Tomas Sinkevicius and Vilte Braziunaite, installation view Newbie, Pilot, Vienna, 2024

Tomas Sinkevicius and Vilte Braziunaite, Newbie (2024), ground mussel shells, acrylic resin, dimensions variable

Tomas Sinkevicius and Vilte Braziunaite, Newbie (2024), ground mussel shells, acrylic resin, dimensions variable

Tomas Sinkevicius and Vilte Braziunaite, Newbie (2024), ground mussel shells, acrylic resin, dimensions variable

Tomas Sinkevicius and Vilte Braziunaite, installation view Newbie, Pilot, Vienna, 2024

Tomas Sinkevicius and Vilte Braziunaite, installation view Newbie, Pilot, Vienna, 2024

Tomas Sinkevicius and Vilte Braziunaite, installation view Newbie, Pilot, Vienna, 2024

Tomas Sinkevicius and Vilte Braziunaite, Newbie (2024), ground mussel shells, acrylic resin, dimensions variable

Tomas Sinkevicius and Vilte Braziunaite, installation view Newbie, Pilot, Vienna, 2024

Tomas Sinkevicius and Vilte Braziunaite, installation view Newbie, Pilot, Vienna, 2024

Tomas Sinkevicius and Vilte Braziunaite, 4K video, sound, 6 minute loop, 2024

Tomas Sinkevicius and Vilte Braziunaite, 4K video, sound, 6 minute loop, 2024

Tomas Sinkevicius and Vilte Braziunaite, 4K video, sound, 6 minute loop, 2024

Tomas Sinkevicius and Vilte Braziunaite, 4K video, sound, 6 minute loop, 2024