Doctoral studies

Worktop<>Desktop<>Showtop 2017

This is not an art or design show. This is an exhibition of artistic research, or in other words, an exposition of projects by art doctoral (practice-based) students that addresses a problem how to present a research or stages of it so as to make them readable, watchable, or listenable both in the context of art and design and in that of scientific research, as art doctoral studies belong to either. The concept of exposition involves the aspiration to find a way of “disposing” (public exposing or “publishing”) findings or processes of artistic research in an art space, which would reflect the investigative nature of it. Therefor the language of this exhibition is of hybrid nature as it contains features both of art practice and scientific research. It integrates graphic expression, attributes of various media, principles of installation, planar and spatial composition, research methodologies, typologies and organisations, keywords and apparatuses of scientific publications. In brief, the exhibition raises a question how to expose artistic research and provides possible answers.

Over the last hundred years the strategies of exhibiting art have changed essentially. 110 years ago Lithuanian artists Antanas Žmuidzinavičius, Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis, Petras Rimša and others initiated the first exhibition of Lithuanian art in Vilnius, at the time occupied by the Russian Empire. The exhibition included works of fine art (visual art) and folk art (a sort of design in a sense). One can imagine the way of exposing art at the time: walls crowded with artworks from left to right and from top to bottom must have looked like a dense and intensive map, which left its viewer for a lonely wander around a maze of meanings.

This exhibition also tries to piece together the art project and the research, or so called practice based and theory based parts of the art doctoral project, and to find a way of presenting them. This distinction however is problematic in itself. Is research always “theoretical” – does every artist contributes to the theory? Why research work is not considered to be practical and creative? And vice versa, isn’t an artwork by an art doctoral student his/her research and/or its result? How to produce one integral project that would be both research and artwork? These questions bother not only art doctoral but also MA students.

Desktop or worktop: it is a display of a work process and a place of exposition, yet mostly seen by the one, who is working there. In this show it is exposed for colleagues and the audience aspiring to initiate a conversation between people, artefacts and ideas. How does a desktop/worktop/showtop by an art doctoral student or its snapshot look like? Is it a multitude of visual and textual elements  spread over his/her desktop? Is it a neat and conceptually organised digital landscape? Or maybe objects and artefacts that strike up conversations on his/her desks and shelves? A mind or object map on the floor or a wall of his/her studio? Or perhaps a thesis (a research) read aloud or rendered into images?

The exhibition exposes 25 positions by art doctoral students in visual arts or design. Desktops here become showtops: displayed around the space they make up a sort of (artist’s) publication, and the contributors
of the show provide creative adaptations of the formats established by the institution and the doctoral programme.

The exhibition was in part curated and moderated collaboratively during collective meetings, therefore my personal role shifted every time from curator to moderator and backwards. I invited art doctoral
students to think of connective links (artefacts, keywords, etc.) between investigative and creative parts of their art projects and to produce a map or a (expanded) snapshot of the current moment of their creative and research process.

After all, this exhibition is an experiment that invites to experience, to see and to rethink processes of practice-based doctoral studies in art and design.

Curator-moderator assoc. prof. dr. Vytautas Michelkevičius

Participants: Arnas Anskaitis, Dovilė Bagdonaitė, Dovilė Dagienė, Eglė Grėbliauskaitė, Eglė Ulčickaitė, Elzė Sakalinskaitė, Ieva Bertašiūtė-Grosbaha, Jevgenija Sidorevič, Jolanta Kyzikaitė, Justė Pečiulytė, Konstantinas Gaitanži, Kristė Kibildytė-Klimienė, Laisvydė Šalčiūtė, Marius Dirgėla, Mindaugas Reklaitis, Renata Maldutienė, Renata Obcarskė, Rokas Dovydėnas, Sandra Mockutė-Cicėnė, Sara Lundberg, Saulius Leonavičius, Tomas Daukša, Tomas Martišauskis, Vygintas Orlovas, Viktorija Sokolovskaja.

Exhibition catalogue