NOBA Nordic Baltic contemporary art platform

The natural environment for an artwork is the place of its creation or exhibition spaces. The first functions as an intimate medium of its inception and the second one becomes a temporary habitat intended for representation and the encounter with an audience. Here, the works interact with other objects, the viewer’s experience, and especially closely, with the physical location itself, which forms the visual landscape and atmosphere of the exhibitions. Arka Gallery, established by the Lithuanian Artists’ Association, has been serving as this constantly contextual habitat for artworks, exhibitions, and art projects for 30 years now. As one of the first exhibition spaces in independent Lithuania, the gallery opened its doors on May 16, 1990. Exhibition White Habitat. Three Decades is not a traditional retrospective but rather a (re)creating, archival/documentary reflection that presents the gallery as a constantly changing microorganism unfolding in various artforms.

Arka Gallery was founded in the block of the former 16th-century Basilian monastery’s architectural ensemble and due to the specific architecture filled with massive beams and arched niches, it doesn’t claim the status of a white cube. Therefore, this exhibition offers a metaphorical understanding of the white habitat. Exposition spaces, despite their non-standard nature, are basically always a white and clean sheet, on which the artworks flourish. Due to the constant dynamics of its use and content, the space is always changing and requires both a physical renovation and a narrative-based rethink. Throughout the 30 years of the gallery’s existence, many different solo and group exhibitions have been organized here, dozens of ongoing projects, as well as informal and performative events. It is impossible to gather all the artifacts that shaped the image of the gallery in one exposition, so the aim was to present the exhibition as a curatorial recollection of works, projects, and processes closely related to the gallery space itself.

The artistic/reproductive part of the exposition is about reviving and looking back at the works exhibited at the gallery during different periods of its existence or the ones that refer to its spaces. Meanwhile, the archival/documentary material fragmentarily recalls both the history of Arka’s development and the events of the Vilnius’ art scene of the 1980s and the links between its participants.

Curators: Evelina Januškaitė-Krupavičė, Monika Valatkaitė, Linas Liandzbergis.
Architect: Vladas Suncovas.
Design: Monika Janulevičiūtė.
Online solutions: Raimonda Tatarėlytė, VOX ART.

Big thanks to: Artūras Meškauskas, Aušra Lukošiūnienė, Šarūnas Pilka, Orūnė Morkūnaitė, Viktoras Liutkus, Rūta Paitian, Juozapas Blažiūnas, Gediminas DJ Astralas, Ona Jarmalavičiūtė, Kazimieras Sližys, Martynas Lukošius, Kristina Žalnierukynaitė, Tomas Meleška, Gediminas Akstinas, Audronis Katilius, Marius Ladyga, Oskaras Dainovskis, Dovilė Tomkutė, Diana Stomienė, Matas Drukteinis, Stanislavas Lučunas.

Artists: Eglė Ganda Bogdanienė, Patricija Gilytė, Donatas Jankauskas (Duonis), Agnė Jonkutė, Liucija Kryževičienė, Linas Liandzbergis, Aurelija Maknytė, Andrius Miežis, Laima Oržekauskienė-Ore, Paulius Račiūnas, Žydrė Ridulytė, Jūratė Urbienė, Arturas Valiauga, Jolanta Vazalinskienė, Arvydas Žalpys.

Sponsors: Lithuanian Council for Culture, Lithuanian Artists’ Association, Vilnius City Municipality.
Partners: Lithuanian Literature and Art Archive, 7 Meno dienos, Literatūra ir menas, Clear Channel, Vėgėlės filmai.

Archive footage from 1990 (director Aušra Lukošiūnienė)

Gallery name: Arka Gallery

Address: Aušros vartu str. 7, LT, Vilnius

Opening hours: Tue-Fri 12:00 - 19:00, Sat 12:00 - 16:00

Open: 11.11.2020 - 30.12.2020