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NOBA Nordic Baltic contemporary art platform

Andra Orn, Curator of NOAR

Vilnius is a city of mixture, where different architecture styles play nicely together with city’s green areas – all this in walking distances, makes Vilnius a city to love. Visiting Vilnius in the beginning of April was just a right, because of all the interesting contemporary art events and the considerably warm weather with occasional sunshine.

For a contemporary art lover, I am really happy to see lively changes in our regional art field, complemented by MO Museum which opened doors in the end of 2018 and is located just steps away from the historic medieval city. Mo Museum as a building is already interesting with diverse architecture designed by New York-based Studio Libeskind. Currently there are couple of shows running – “Starting Point” and “Artworks by Monika Furmana and Jolanta Kyzikaite“, but thanks to Vilnius Art Academy curator Milda Dainovskytė I had a sneak peak to show just to be opened “Animal – Human – Robot”.

“The exhibition explores the ever-changing relationship between humans and other beings: from animal species to organic and mechanical entities created by humans, such as genetically modified organisms or artificial intelligence,” based on exhibition introduction. 

Starting point of the exhibitions has the greatest impact with very strong video work hanging above the dramatic black open staircase – one of the key elements in minimalist Mo museum architecture leading to the exhibition on the 3rd floor’s. This video work is a perfect introduction for exhibition, engaging the viewer with water-like movement of images about evolution.

Coming up to the 3rd floor one could feel as being in Venice biennial, because in the first corner there are all works presented in Venice, starting from Katja Novitskova (Estonia) “Pattern of Activation”, where she magnifies images of a microscopic worm and its eggs. Her work is saying that we already have became hybrid inhabitants of our own future, but we hardly notice that.

Next to it is Daiga Grantina hybrid creatures of organic and mechanical parts, where red wires resemble blood vessels poured into plastic tissue. She is representing Latvia at Venice biennial.

Mikeil Fishers dark humor works “Reptilians” where represented at Latvian pavilion in Venice biennial 2017. Fishers fantastic creatures have taken over the power from humans. His works are filled with irony and humour, where he criticises fanaticism and esoteric faiths, science fiction, conspiracy theories etc.

Swamp School project also represented Lithuania, but at the Architecture Exhibition at Venice. It is a concept of a new ecosystem, where natural forms organically merge from digital life forms. When you take a look through the crack in wall you can experience swamp life.

The exhibition is large and goes on with collection works under titles “The Rural Idyll”, “The Slaughter”, “The Urban Inhabitants” etc. The exhibition as a hole is an experience combining past and future, humour and tragedy. I will definitely come back to explore the exhibition in much more detail.

Mo Museum in a long waited phenomenon in Vilnius contemporary art scene, so when visiting Vilnius it is a must see together with Vilnius Contemporary Art Center CAC.