A selection of recent film and video works by emerging contemporary artists from Lithuania and is presented as part of a programme of events celebrating European enlargement.
Laura Stasiulyte, Kristina Inciurate, Arunas Gudaitis, G-Lab, Gintaras Makarevicius and Alma Skersyte
Curated by Kristina Inciurate, Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius
This exhibition provides a selection of recent film and video works by emerging contemporary artists from Lithuania and is presented as part of a programme of events celebrating European enlargement.
Using both documentary and fiction, the works explore the routines, preoccupations and habits of Lithuania's younger generation - those most profoundly affected and influenced by the country's independence, gained in 1990.
Spinsters, the four-minute video by Kristina Inciuraite, is filmed in a foster home for girls that is situated in the grounds of a Russian church near to the artist's home in Vilnius. The Slavonic spirit of the territory conceals the inner pace of life in the settlement - here captured by the girls' end-of-year performance that is both comic and tragic as it is played out against the backdrop of a Lithuanian pop song. The costumes worn by the girls, and the badly recorded musical accompaniment, strongly identify them as belonging to the most under-privileged social strata in the country.
Laura Stasiulyte's slide-tape show, From The Life Of Young Ladies, explores the advice pages of the popular Lithuanian teen magazine, Panele (Young Lady). The questions asked demonstrate a need to self-teach whilst the text quotes read like fragments of a popular literary genre Â an ongoing narrative with many voices: "Will sperm make my teeth yellow?" Lina, 16; "Is it true that girls mature sooner when they listen to music?" Vika, 13; "Please answer at once. I am friendly with a guy who is 25. When we make love he pays me. What shall I do?" Neringa, 16.
Arunas Gudaitis' work, The Meeting Point, sees a group of young men gathered in a circle at night. Viewed from a nearby window, the gathering takes on the form of a ritual dance where the boys stand shoulder to shoulder, shifting from one foot to the other, jostling for space; like a tribe on the verge of extension, being pushed out to the edge.
Vaskichi, a film by Gintaras Makarevicius, sees young boys playing at war in Vilnius. The performance of the game reveals the value systems that are dominant in the boy's culture. No longer do they act out the violent clashes of Russians and Germans or Cowboys and Indians Â actions that the artist would have imitated in his own youth Â but now they position themselves firmly in the playmaking of video gaming and advanced technological conventions.
Arturas Bumsteinas and Laura Garbstiene are collaboratively known as G-Lab and in their work Invasion, explore confrontation on various levels including historical, personal and social. The film footage is slowed right down and accompanied by a strongly emotive soundtrack provided by Antanas Jasenka. This gives the film epic proportions, as the camera moves from the faces of the 'observers' who view something just outside of our own point-of-view, to the central characters, the soldiers, whose costumed presence clashes with that of the casual observers around them.
Alma Skersyte's video and slide installation, Spectrum, explores what the artist calls "the discipline of growing up"; that point at which playground imperceptibility becomes training ground. Representing days of the week, the se ven images Â six of which are static slide projections and one of which is a video projection that moves position with each day Â focus on the empty playground's of a Lithuanian city; a metaphor for the changing expectations placed upon us as we grow.
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