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NOBA Nordic Baltic contemporary art platform

For the last thirty years, Lithuania had a clear sense of direction. Yet, by the second decade of the 21st century, having reached its essential goals (EU and NATO membership, adoption of the Euro), the country suddenly found itself without clear coordinates to follow. Furthermore, the Western world, which had been Lithuania’s ultimate destination, has become more unstable than ever: Brexit, election of Donald Trump, annexation of Crimea and war in Ukraine, increasingly obvious and detrimental climate changes; have together dismantled the vision of a safe world. Once again, the time has come to formulate the question: how do we perceive the future and what do we want from it?

Engaging with these broad questions, the exhibition examines Lithuanian art from the past 40 years. The exhibition starts from the end of the seventies through early eighties – a period just before great change. While it is common to talk about new Lithuanian art starting in the period of Sąjūdis (the late 80s independence movement), less considered is what it was like to create, as an artist, without knowing about these upcoming changes, but slowly sensing them as they approached.

Sometimes we choose to sweat profoundly ourselves or make others to do that for a sweeter future, but sometimes we do the opposite – relinquish our pretensions to prove our power and instead smell and follow the sweet scent coming from the future; secreted by the sweaty, warming, glands of the earth strained by more and more humans. The exhibition presents these and other strategies for facing this future. In some of the exhibited works, one can perceive conscious reflections of the future and the powers enabling it. In other works, the authors appear as the unbeknownst harbingers of the future. Connected in a concentric structure, the artworks form a unitary totality. The closer we get to the centre of this totality the greater we push forward to the future. Yet, moving in circles, we can feel how the ponderings of one future overlap with others.

Gallery name: National Gallery of Art, Vilnius

Address: Konstitucijos ave. 22, Vilnius

Opening hours: Tue, Fri-Sun 11:00 - 19:00, Thu 12:00 - 20:00

Open: 10.07.2019 - 01.09.2019