VAA doctoral students’ project 2019

The project runs on March 28th – April 14th
Exhibition opening on March 28th, at 18.00
VAA Titanikas Gallery, 1st floor (Maironio Str. 3, Vilnius)
Opening hours:
Tue–Sat, 12.00–18.00

This year the annual exhibition of Vilnius Academy of Arts’ doctoral students has grown into an expanded project. In an intellectual provocation, the project’s guest curator Dr Marquard Smith, Professor of Artistic Research at VAA, suggested that the project should commemorate the 30 th anniversary of Spike Lee’s 1989 film Do the Right Thing and reflect on its significance in today’s context. This prompted the project’s team and participants to at least briefly shift the focus from their individual artistic and theoretical research projects, and try to answer a few more universal and fundamental questions.

What does it mean today to do the right thing as an artist, designer, curator, or critic, not in the sense of social conformity or market success, but with an ethical commitment? How to detect the various nodes of power, fight it, or employ it for restoring justice? How to be more that just an active and successful art student, artist, or researcher – an active and responsible citizen? Finally, how do the formulations of these questions, their relevance, and the possible answers change depending on the geographical, historical, and cultural context?

With this background in mind, even though the project’s exhibition presents the diverse individual works and research of Art, Design, and Art Criticism doctoral students, the participants simultaneously try to relate their topics to the broader cultural, social, and political context. The individual presentations by the participants of the exhibition, scheduled on March 29 th and 30 th , and attended by an external expert, the writer, critic, and educator Dr Alice Twemlow, will serve as an elaboration of these perspectives.

Equally important is the project’s rich public events programme. It will offer opportunities to hear the team’s conversations about the project’s context on the airwaves of Palanga Street Radio, a DIY broadcasting community, to share ideas and impressions while listening to a live soundtrack reflecting the project’s themes, mixed by this radio station’s DJs during a disco at the artist-run Autarkia space, to take a tour of the parallel exhibitions branching out of the main show and registering the Academy’s subconsious, to splash pop-up poetry verses in the exhibition space, and to join the group morning exercise – peeling potatoes together with the cooks of the Academy’s canteen. The VAA community will get a chance to share their concerns in an anonymous poll, while the doctoral students will be able to take a photo with their supervisors and consultants.

A special focus this year is on public discussions, and specifically on the possible forms of artistic and civil activism in the Academy and the urban space. Two events, dedicated to the case of the Reformed Evangelicals’ Park in Vilnius and to the role of activism in the process of art and design studies, will seek to extend the project’s field of concerns beyond the VAA community and involve a broader audience that might not have experience in the professional art and culture field. The discussions will feature well-known local activist practitioners and theorists: Jekaterina Lavrinec, Laima Kreivytė, Kasparas Pocius, Eglė Grėbliauskaitė, Gintautas Mažeikis.

The project Do the Right Thing and its exhibition is accompanied by a comprehensive publication which textually and visually explicates the projects’ and the individual participants’ topics, problems, and research fields.

More information: / +370 5 210 5456 /

Project curators: Marquard Smith (project curator) and Jurij Dobriakov (co-curator)

Exhibition participants: Arnas Anskaitis / Dovilė Bagdonaitė / Eglė Bertašiūtė/ Jogintė Bučinskaitė / Vitalij Červiakov / Dovilė Dagienė / Vytautas Gečas / Barbora Gediminaitė / Eglė Grėbliauskaitė / Dalia Grybauskaitė / Mindaugas Jurėnas / Kristė Kibildytė-Klimienė / Aistė Kisarauskaitė / Laima Kreivytė / Liucija Kvašytė / Saulius Leonavičius / Justė Pečiulytė / Marija Šaboršinaitė / Jelena Škulienė / Aušra Trakšelytė / Simona Žemaitytė / Asta Valskienė /Mindaugas Reklaitis


Events programme

March 27, 19:00 Do the Right Thing x Palanga Street Radio -
March 28, 18:00 Echibition opening (including a Roundtable discussion with Jurij Dobriakov, Vytautas Gečas, Eglė Grėbliauskaitė, Laima Kreivytė, Saulius Leonavičius and Marquard Smith) - VAA Titanikas Gallery, 1st floor
March 28-30 Eyebrow Inventory - VAA Titanikas Gallery, 1st floor
March 28 - April 14 All Quiet in the Better Academy?! Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace - VAA Titanikas Gallery, 1st floor
March 29-30, 10:00-17:00 Doctoral Student presentations and discussions (with international external expert Dr Alice Twemlow). PROGRAMME
April 3, 17:00 Discussion: Reformed Evangelicals' Park Activism. Have We Started It Right? - VAA Titanikas Gallery, 1st floor
April 4, 08:00 Potato Eyes See Everything - VAA Canteen
April 5, 21:00 Do the Right Thing x Autarkia x Palanga Street Radio - Autarkia, Naugarduko Str. 41, Vilnius
April 9 Exhibition tour of parallel exhibitions and meetings with the authors Dalia Gryblauskaitė and Asta Valskienė:
17:00 VAA Drawing Department (Malūnų Str. 5, room 212)
18:00 VAA Department of Photography and Media Arts (Maironio Str. 3, room 428)
April 11, 17:00 Discussions: Is There Any Reason to Smash a Window? Artistic activism and Vilnius Academy of Arts - VAA Titanikas Gallery, 1st floor
April 12, 17:00 Pop-Up Poetry. Splash Your Poems at the Titanic! - VAA Titanikas Gallery, 1st floor