Lithuanian Artist to Open Exhibition in France

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From 12th October 2013 until 4th January 2014, Kaunas Biennial will present the personal exhibition Can I Tell You a Well-Known Story? Don’t by emerging artist Vytautas Viržbickas. It will be exhibited in Le Magasin, National Centre of Contemporary Art (Grenoble, France). This project is a continuation of Kaunas Biennial Emerging Artists’ Projects far beyond the borders of Kaunas and Lithuania.

The mysteriously-titled exhibition by Viržbickas was created from various sculptures, objects, and other things. Compositions of individual objects, which were constructed, whittled, founded, sewed, broken and glued by the author, tell a mythical story.

In this three-part mythological narrative, there are some heroes: a white horse sitting in a guilty dog’s position, a table which “surrenders” itself (its two legs are off the ground), a “buffet” with a floating iceberg, and loose-limbed bugs which are laying on their backs. These heroes will invite the visitors to wander in the spaces of our subconsciousness.

Art critic Danutė Gambickaitė describes Viržbickas’ art quite accurately: “It is the deliberate confusion of the narrative”. According to the critic, the viewer doesn’t know (and will never know) the “main” story, but he will always feel its presence or absence (in this case, that is not important), and will see the artist’s hints, thus experiencing the emotional tension of not knowing.

Another art critic Jolanta Marcišauskytė-Jurašienė, who analyses Vytautas Viržbickas’ polysemantic exhibition, states that this work is “about a story that doesn’t want to be told but is akin to the issue of the mythopoetic men’s movement in a number of aspects. It’s a way of thinking that is based on exploring your true nature and getting it back through personalized myths. This is done through a poetic glance, giving priority to impulses, rituals, and the experience of initiation or becoming. By elevating his story and making each element and detail of a multi-layered work with his own hands (it’s not important if it’s the shattering of a vase and the gluing together of them or the making of a basket for a hot-air balloon), he performs a kind of ritual. In order to say what hurts, he had to examine his wound very carefully, while the work with his hands, well-executed technique and variety of material demonstrate not only the spectrum of his knowledge of techniques, but also immersion in a creative act that has its own power of initiation that purifies and prepares”, writes the art critic in a catalogue of the exhibition.

About Le Magasin

Founded in 1986, Le Magasin – Centre National d’Art Contemporain de Grenoble, France is a prestigious contemporary art centre which is very well-known by its intellectual, educational and academic activities throughout the whole Europe and beyond. Yves Aupetitallot, the Director of Le Magasin, is the founder of École du Magasin – the first curatorial school in Europe. In Le Magasin, there are many personal exhibitions presented by very famous artists, such as Daniel Buren, Sol Le Witt, Robert Barry, Lawrence Weiner, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Gino De Dominicis, Sylvie Fleury, Mike Kelley, Maurizio Cattelan, Liam Gillick, etc. It is the first time when Lithuanian artists are being presented in this centre.

About the artist

In 2012, Vytautas Viržbickas graduated from the Vilnius Academy of Arts. His works are deeply contextual: he creates local installations where sounds, images, and things, as well as their interrelations and intuitive stories, are very important. In Lithuania, he has had several personal exhibitions.

Kaunas – Grenoble collaboration events

Kaunas Biennial, in collaboration with Le Magasin – Centre National d’Art Contemporain de Grenoble and Vytautas Magnus University, presents many events:

  • Personal exhibition Can I Tell You a Well-Known Story? Don’t by Vytautas Viržbickas. It will be exhibited in Le Magasin (Grenoble, France, from 12th October 2013 until 4th January 2014). At the same time, personal exhibition by Deimantas Narkevičius will be opened.
  • From 28th until 31st October 2013, a curatorial seminar by Lore Gablier (coordinator, École du Magasin) and Nataša Ilic (curator, Zagreb) will take place at VMU Art Gallery 101 (Laisvės al. 53, Kaunas).
  • From 3rd September 2013 until 11th October, VMU Art Gallery 101 hosted the personal exhibition The Witness by Karina Bisch.

Organisers: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, Embassy of Lithuania in Paris, Kaunas City Municipality and Vytautas Magnus University.

For more information please contact Agnė Augulevičiūtė (press@kaunas.biennial.lt, +370 608 19250).

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