In English, both garden as a park and kitchen garden can be described the same – garden. PAPRAG GARDEN is a strange, fictional, but at the same time real garden. Nestled in an undefined space somewhere between Pabradė and Prague. Both cities, where I spent about four months in 2021, left a strange, ambiguous impression on me. There I explored the duality of the garden: the incessant growth and decay, the vegetables outdoors and the plants inside, the inhabitants of the Paradise Garden from Prague museums, or the immigrants who can be seen in Pabradė behind the fence. The garden is the oldest heterotopia, according to Michel Foucault. This is a space where the connections between the individual elements are not necessarily direct. It is not a utopia – where everything is ideal, and not a dystopia – where everything is bad, there everything is strange, vague, ambiguous.
The exhibition space itself is also becoming a heterotopia – paintings, drawings, paintings that have moved to the screen, installations. Next to the images of the plants, an excel table appears like the beds in that garden that need to be tidied up. And as a reference to growth, or more precisely, economic growth, as a permanent goal. How much can you grow until you grow up? I wonder if it is at all possible to explore such topics in painting, and how?
Birutė Lemke lives in Vilnius. Studies painting in the Vilnius Academy of Arts, masters programme. In 2021 exchange student in the Academy of Arts in Prague (AVU). Graduated from Vilnius University, faculty of Economics.
Exhibition is dedicated to 225 years of VDA Painting and Drawing departments.
Personal exhibition “PAPRAG GARDEN” is opens on 12th April 6pm at VAA gallery “Akademija”.
Exhibition closes on 30th April.