In his work, Narkus often draws inspiration from the world of business and start-ups. Contrasting its spirit of optimism and perseverance with the feeling of frustration and disappointment, the artist does not only create tragicomic performances, video works and collages, but is also the founder or council member of many cultural and business organisations. There is a lot of humour in his work. However, this irony is ambiguous: the artist admits to sometimes becoming a rebellious screw in the neoliberal machine himself.
The artist’s return to the genre of photography in this exhibition was not accidental. Having worked in the field of commercial photography for many years, here Narkus demonstrates his mastery: gigantic hyper-realistic photographs disturb us with their brutal detail, inviting us to take a closer look at unadorned reality and celebrate it. Recognisably, with a certain ease and a smile, Narkus provokes the viewer, good taste and the art market by challenging safe minimalism. Illuminated by a bright and even light, the objects in the photographs seem to become anthropomorphic beings. Or perhaps it is a form of life that has nothing to do with humans, deciding our destinies in a never-ending videoconference. The answers are to be found in the upcoming exhibition.
In the invitation to the exhibition, written by the artist himself and sent to the gallery’s PR department, the artist calls: “Oh Enlightened Satrap, Chairman, Grand Master, Your Excellency, internet providers and masters of protocol, guardians of justice and morals, commission of commissions, masters of ceremonies, priestess and keeper of the flame of the Old Religion , DJ, elders, seers, council of mothers, meeting of shareholders, presidium, one and ninety nine percent, members of the inner circle, advisor, consul, world managers, admiral, marketing director, sales manager, public relations specialist, revolutionaries, gogo dancer, anarchists and leftists. Save the date! The opening of Robertas Narkus’ solo exhibition “The Board” will take place on 10 September.”
Robertas Narkus (born in 1983) is a Vilnius-based artist, an initiator and leading figure in a host of experimental arts, management and food organizations. Narkus describes his art practice as contingency management in changing economic circumstances. By hyperbolizing and lightly ironizing the existing nebulous neoliberal world systems of power, entangled by other mechanisms as well, and often generously using the tools they offer, Narkus creates his own unique new order.
For your safety the number of attendees at the gallery at one time will be limited. Please wear your protective face mask.
Renata and Rolandas Valiūnas
Gallery supported by
“Plieno Spektras”, PI “Meno Fondas”, Vilma Dagilienė, Romas Kinka, “Ekskomisarų Biuras”
Photographs and video footage will be taken during the event and published on social networks and in the media.
Gallery name: VARTAI Gallery
Address: Vilniaus g. 39, Vilnius
Opening hours: Tue-Fri 12:00 - 18:00, Sat 12:00 - 16:00
Open: 10.09.2020 - 09.10.2020