Photo reportage from the exhibition 'The Uncanny' at the Palace of Culture, Entertainment and Sport

September 27, 2022
Author Echo Gone Wrong

Alphonso Lingis has said that in contemporary world the human body tends to become an extension of the face – a set of expression formulas, without inner depth or sensuality, but easily recognizable and readable. It becomes a surface of a screen, a sign system – operating in primitive signals and covering the body language. This symbolic and representational mode creates alienating affects not only with the Other, but also with one’s own senses. As Hal Foster observed, such kind of body eventually turns into armour: affected by external disciplinary structures, it crystallises into an identity, which functions defensively in opposition to otherness and foreignness. It becomes sterile, isolated, impenetrable.

The show invokes various forms of the uncanny (unheimlich) in order to disturb such a normative subject: sterile and repressed character is put in contrast to fluid, fragmentary and multifaceted forms. Not limiting itself to the classical definition of the uncanny in psychoanalysis, the exhibition moves towards sporadic and irreducible cases that resonate in today’s anxieties.

Different manifestations of the uncanny are found in the works of the exhibited artists: it is a bodily and tactile expression, which include grotesque and abject elements, humanly distant (in)organic forms and virtuality glitches, intertwining digital and natural shapes. These works are characterised by dynamism and intensity, which imply questioning, uncertainty, even moments of discontinuity and self-contradiction, allowing for creative heterogeneity.

Exhibition intervenes in architectural and contextual spaces of VRM palace. It is an outmoded building with ephemeral content, a “culture centre” with a militaristic past. It combines exquisite décor and brutal modernist asceticism, elite intention and effects of marginalisation. The transitory and indefinite state of the establishment also creates a heterotopic affect that disturbs a sense of historical continuity. It will serve as an arena for experiencing the work.

Participating artists – Adomas Danusevičius, Alma Heikkilä, Artūras Mitinas, Auksė Miliukaitė, Aurelija Bulaukaitė, Denisas Kolomyckis, Ian Damerel, Ieva Tarejeva, Julija Pociūtė, Laura Gozlan, Monika Kornilova, Polyrabbit Duplicate, SetP Stanikas, Tauras Kensminas, Vytenis Burokas

Curators – Artūras Mitinas, Monika Kornilova, Darius Jaruševičius
Designer – Eimantė Čekauskaitė
Exhibition organizer – Maršrutizatoriai/Routers

Sponsors – Vilnius City Municipality, Vilnius 700, Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania

Exhibition opening
9 September 2022, 7 pm
Žirmūnų g. 1E

VRM Palace of Culture, Entertainment and Sport
Exhibition will run until 30 September, 2022
IV-V 16.00–19.00, VI-VII 12.00–17.00

Photography: Lukas Mykolaitis