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21st June 2018
"PAINTING AT PLAY"
Creative part supervisor prof. Jonas Gasiūnas
This artistic research chops too broad reality into individual situations and solves them creatively by inventing formative scenarios for the painting process. They prompt me re-thinking my artistic positions as I go. I take game as my research strategy. My tactics consists of trying out various game scenarios. Each stage of painting involves choosing a character, a persona. The phrase “let’s say…” is the key that unlocks conditional reality of artistic practice placing me into a kind of performance for myself and my works. Invisible to spectators this creative attitude transforms the studio into a playground for images and words articulating the doubled conditionality of my chosen character.
I create different scenarios for painting in an attempt at escaping from tacit knowledge of a painter. Uttering the phrase “let’s say…,” I cloak myself with a skin of the other, as if animating stuffed animals, masks, and dead images. Stuffed animal is a creature of the past; therefore, in my game, not the skin, but the actions that this skin conditions are important. To put it simply, my painting is about playing cloaked in skins. The animal of my games has never been alive. All my attempts are about raising a stuffed animal from the dead. Parents allow children believing in Santa Claus to destroy this myth later. This is how the world of games, illusions, and imagination breaks off from the world of the “real.” Perhaps this is why my paintings become a “stuffed paintings” – a kind of tapestries – yet another decoration on prop-palace walls.
In a single exhibition, two projects merge –choosing of a particular skin (the game) and time of becoming as well as painting by means of the embodied animal. As I change skins, I invite you into my playroom – the painterly reality, each time a different world in a “different” reality. This time, it is the Trakų Vokė Manor.
“Let’s say” I’m a princess. I dress up in a new dress and go to the carnival. My face is covered in a layer of powder, my eyelashes are hidden under black mascara, and my lips under pink lipstick. Today is my festival – my exhibition.
This is the end of one stage of creative work. So, I need to pick not only a fitting outfit, but also to “turn on” my smile.
May I celebrate?
Why not? The works have been painted. They are what they are. My creative successes and failures until now known only to me are public –you can see them too. For this carnival, I put on a mask (or maybe take it off).
Join in, please!
Scenarios for paintings, conditional situations, games, let's say, performativity.
20th April 2018
"MELODRAMAS. THREE STRATEGIES FOR THE VISUALIZATION OF THE BODY"
Creative part supervisor prof. Rimvydas Kepežinskas
Our everyday life brings us to the realization of Western society being not only a consumer and spectacle – but a post-truth – society as well. The post-truth, just like consumerism and spectacle, relates to the emotionally charged communication of knowledge and the manipulation of our feelings. The key-word of this practice based research, (Melo)dramas, is of the artist’s coinage from the melodrama genre, one of emotionally strongest appeal on the viewer. The accent is on melo- element, as the artist plays with its homonymous meaning of falsehood in the Lithuanian language.
This research is experience based. It proceeds in a methodical manner to unpack the subjective principles of the author’s artistic sensibility. These principles are articulated through the frameworks of the contemporary theories and three anchor concepts that refer to the phenomena of diverse nature: the bricolage, diary and melodrama. The research demonstrates and substantiates how these three phenomena – three creative strategies – mediate the artist’s subjective experience and observation of contemporary routine life; playful examples function as self-ironic illustrations of a (melo)dramatic emotionality of an individual living in the Western consumer society.
Throughout the research, the artist has the opportunity to reconstruct herself and her immediate surroundings, taking mundaneness as a kind of adventure. Commonplace experiences and random events are inserted into the context of this research in reflection of emotional excess of the surrounding emotional culture and our relation to it.
As the research unpacks the strategies of the bricolage, diary and melodrama, it also uncovers specific contents and experiences of creative activity. The author articulates such creative methods as mythopoetic intellectual crafting, self-reflective observation of everyday circumstances and their possible impact on the process of becoming of a work or art. Critical approach to the post-emotionality and falsehood of our contemporary consumer society serves the goal of deconstructing, with melodramatic methods, the very reflections of the melodrama genre in immediate everyday routines.
6th October 2017
"UNCERTAINTY IN CONTEMPORARY CULTURE. PHENOMENON OF PHOTOGRAPHY"
Creative part supervisor prof. Alvydas Lukys
Uncertainty in contemporary culture and its connection with the phenomenon of photography are the main themes of this dissertation. The aim of this work is to show, that uncertainty creates resonance between an art peace and spectator. When uncertainty, created by an artist, coincide with a viewer’s uncertainty that the one is facing in cultural environment, it creates greater artistic impact. Uncertainty is both – the aesthetical principle and cultural context. The latter leads us to the question which is one of the main questions of philosophy – what is real? Or what are the basis of reality. Through the story of Don Juan, which begins in 17th century and lasts till now, we see how metaphysical basis of reality collapse, causing the uncertainty. But at the same time, the basis is establishing on the ground of laws of physics. That’s where I continue to investigate the uncertainty through the medium of photography. Photography encompass two opposite notions of time. One is inherited from Newtonian physics that state absolute time, the other from Heisenberg’s Uncertainty principle. Former leads to the notion of unchanging, unmovable, fixed and objectified time in photography. That’s where the objectivity and the claim of certainty in photography comes from. The latter embraces the accident, probabilities, unforeseen movements that are also imbedded in the medium of photography and leads to the truth of the impact for the viewer. Photography creates conditions for this by its very nature, when uncountable details are fixed on the surface of any light sensitive surface. They cannot be controlled or deliberately are not controlled by a photographer and in the interaction with the viewers consciousness or unconsciousness can created unpredicted collisions which are certainly true.
So there is a tremendous dynamic power embodied in photography, created by these two opposite notions and applications of time. Photographic image constantly oscillates between certainty and uncertainty and if consciously used, these oscillations can benefit in the process of creating an art peace.
12th June 2017
"SWIM, MONUMENT FOR UTOPIA, GUSTONIAI, METATEXT"
Creative part supervisor prof. Artūras Raila
Naudojamas vaizdo fragmentas: "Monumentas Utopijai". Dalyvaujant Viačeslavui Kovalenko (Sankt Peterburgas) ir S (Dublinas); instaliacija parodoje "Gijos: Fantasmagorija apie atstumą", Kauno centrinis paštas, Kaunas, 2015. Fotografija Dariaus Žiūros.
The Doctoral Art Project consists of a methodical development of my continuous long-term projects, which often involve other people belonging to different social groups. The inhabitants of one village have been filmed every three years for fifteen years (Gustoniai, 2001–ongoing). Illegal sex workers in the area around the Vilnius railway station have been portrayed in the photographic series Faces and Figures (both 2008–ongoing). Each of these projects has a documentary element and presents the results of a performative observation of social and cultural phenomena. Participants in different socio-cultural contexts have been involved in creating Monument for Utopia (2015).
The doctoral thesis is constructed according to the principles I use while developing most of my art projects. The four-year time frame of the doctorate has been treated as a format to be gradually filled with text. This textual volume is time-based in two senses: the specific interval of time during which it was written and the chronological sequence of the presented texts.
My choices of themes and topics have been dictated by the questions and problems that shape my self-understanding as an artist: re/presentation; the relations between personal experience and artistic expression; the relations between the writing process and different levels of objectivity; the problems of legality and ethical paradoxes grounded in our socio-cultural realm.
The resulting body of text does not have a linear structure but rather applies different writing tactics and polyphonic narrative strategies. At the same time it is a study of an individual’s writing potential. Its contribution to academic knowledge is not based on formal, theoretical, research and ‘knowledge production’ in a traditional systematic sense, but instead reveals the position of a practicing artist. The text embodies my understanding of what a doctoral text project in the art field could be.
31st March 2017
"CAMOUFLAGE MASCULINITY AND CAMPISH DAZZLE"
Creative part supervisor prof. Henrik Bjørn Andersen
The subject of the artistic research part of the art project Camouflage Masculinity and Campish Dazzle is the culture of homosexual individuals within the context of heteronormativity. The research part establishes historic and ideological beginning of the concepts of camouflage masculinity and campish dazzle and their opposition to each other. These two concepts are developed based on the analysis of profiles on online gay dating website PlanetRomeo.com and individual works of art. The analysis of alternative masculinity types contributes to deconstructing heteronormativity. The art project reveals the flaws of camouflage masculinity and campish dazzle and looks for an alternative attitude. Attempts are made to find a “middle ground” between the existing extremities through the analysis of artworks of Forest Bess and spirituality research. The key aim of the art project is creating artworks associated with the concepts of camouflage masculinity and campish dazzle and the analysis of their interrelationship in the context of the developments of images of homosexual individuals. The analysis of individual motion pictures, which reveals the development of images of homosexual individuals and its impact on the works by the author, adds to implementing this aim too.
The art project is directly related to artworks created during it. The interdisciplinary works of art are based on theoretical insights by using an autoartresearch-based approach. The works created by the author do not only represent the theory but also, by employing different creation techniques, create new effects and meanings.
25th November 2016
"RELATION OF ARTIST AND PORTRAYED SUBJECT THROUGHOUT CREATIVE PROCESS: THE CASE STUDY OF IMPACT PROJECT"
Creative part supervisor prof. Artūras Raila
The visual shape of the project consists of eight photorealistic full-length (194x102 cm) portraits of orphans during their last year in the orphanage. The idea took a great deal of will-power, very thorough and precise four-year-long work. Throughout the project I started “living” in the orphanage in Alytus once again in order to develop a direct relation with its environment and daily rituals. Remigijus, who we work and live with as an inseparable tandem, participated in this mission as well. While creating, we constantly look for a connection with the audience, we try to influence them – not only on the aesthetic, but also on the ethical level. The children used to observe and reflect on our persistent work that required focus and professional skills; that was how I tried to introduce the ethical dimension, i.e., by means of diligence to inspire the orphans for a creative life, to give them impulses to open up to creative powers, to see life in a different light, positively, to inspire them to create something on their own (even if it was not art-related).
Aim of the theoretical work – to analyse the relation between the artist and the subject represented in the creative process and project Impact.
The work analyses reactions of young people living in an orphanage in Alytus to the artist’s creative process as well as the impact of the project on the development of their creativity (in the broad sense), and reveals features of the social environment shift and its impact on the secondary audience.
11th November 2016
"CREATIVE PROCESS IN THE APPLIED ART THERAPY ENVIRONMENT"
Creative part supervisor prof. Laima Drazdauskaitė
Art project is based on the core provision that collective art processes and the experience gained from them have a potential to help an individual integrate into society, adapt to its requirements or to have self-confindence to stand up against the social pressure. The impact that such collective art projects have on the target group, on the relationships, interests of its members is analyzed in the work, considering also the influence that artistic experiences and insights have on the communication, interaction, socialization and recovery dynamics of the project participants. In this study, I initiate art activities for a selected group of mental hospital and social care facility patients, as well as participate in the activities of the institutions as their equivalent member. I do not limit my project to only organizing the social art therapy activities, but also seek to transform the experience gained in them to a painting activity, carried out separately from the group activities. I do not intend to capture particular persons in the portrait series “Borderline portraits”, what I intend to do is to visualize the memory – the form and state of the moment. The objective of my paintings is not to represent the body as a traditional portrait would do, but to reveal the state of the portrayed person. That, on the other hand, is only my personal view of a human being.
8th November 2016
"TENDENCIES OF NEW REALISM IN THE YOUNG GENERATION OF LITHUANIAN PAINTERS"
Creative part supervisor prof. Arvydas Šaltenis
In my research work, I examine my painting within the context of the work of young Lithuanian artists in the first decade of the present century.
In the process of formulating my creative development from the beginning of my studies, I devote significant attention to the cultural surroundings in which I was enmeshed, for in looking at the work of my colleagues, I recognize elements of my own. Self-observation through the reflections of my surroundings became my creative foundation, which I understand to be an incessant process of re-creation influenced by my environment which plays the role of a curved mirror in my work.
The influence of photography takes pride of place because the use of this medium in the process of painting cannot be separated from the work of contemporary painters. I assess changes of expressive means by relying on the experience of Western countries. I trace the tendencies of Western art in their influence on the context of Lithuanian painting. I also devote significant attention to identity the themes of contemporary female identity, finding interesting parallels with the use of photography in painting.
27th November 2015
Creative part supervisor prof. Artūras Raila
Theoretical part supervisor prof. dr. Giedrė Mickūnaitė
Artistic research project ”Picture Demand“ explores human characteristic to simultaneously trust and doubt of the credibility of an image. Tragicomic role of subjectivity come to the fore during research of the existing and newly created portraying methods. The inquiry into forensic approach of facial reconstruction relying on various picture research theories, has revealed the impossibility of objectivity. Subjectivity is implicit in any human creation, regardless of attempts in camouflaging it under the concepts of “objectivity” or “scientific validity.” Alongside the awareness of subjective nature of images, the research explores the new ways of portraying that would convince the dubious but also humorous viewer.
The research has revealed intangibility of the appearance of Kristijonas Donelaitis (Lithuanian poet, for whom we do not have reliable portraits) and inaccuracies in his facial reconstruction carried out by scientists. The project has once again undertaken the attempts to reconstruct the poet’s face and these pictorial experiments resulted not only in portraits, but also three conceptual approaches in portraiture: “Craniometrical Portraying” – a method of assumed objectivity, “Ethical Self-Portraying” – a method of open subjectivity and “Appellative Portraying” – a method of uniform portrayal. In order to test these new methods new portraits of Kristijonas Donelaitis, the King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania Sigismund Augustus and Homo Catinus have been painted. The conclusions have been derived from three series of paintings and their accompanying visual artefacts: The Case of K. Donelaitis, The Case of “In”, and The Case of Homo Catinus. Each one of them is related to a physical person’s demand for a picture, and could therefore be titled as a picture-demand portrait.