“Soap and Water” is a themed exhibition organised by the Vilnius Academy of Art’s (VAA) Department of Photography, Animation and Media Art, representing the youngest generation of media artists, students and recent graduates.

There are two exhibitions held paralelly in 2021 – “Soap and Water” at the VAA gallery "Artifex" and “Running Lines” at the VAA gallery "Academy". They seek to emphasise two prevailing reactions to our changing world observed within young contemporary artists’ works: a backwards look that evokes distant, often traumatic past experiences and an increasing distancing towards the textual and virtual worlds.

Exhibition “Soap and Water” touches upon the concepts of past and memory. No matter to what past the artists are looking – it may be personal, historic or cultural – their works reflect and create a paradoxical link between a memo(ry) and oblivion. A similar relation is captured in Fluxus artist Robert Page’s artwork-instruction, in which he invites one to read his text, tear it up and forget about it, and yet that is exactly how the forgetting becomes impossible.

Nostalgia knows memories even of unexperienced times. Neringa Puzanauskaitė’s “икра” depicts her sentiment towards the Soviet caviar and her grandmother’s shelves full of Soviet crystal ware, yet the artist hadn’t experienced the era as she was born after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Diana Nakrevič’s sandbox full of ground glass “ACE: 7” is an autobiographic work inspired by her own attempts of forgetting the disturbing childhood memories in her dysfunctional family. Gintarė Vaicekauskaitė’s video “Soap and Water” observes how old forgotten monuments are being renewed, however, her camera comes so close to them that it becomes impossible not only to remember, but even to recognise them. Meanwhile, Eglė Lekevičiūtė’s “Floor of Jars” refreshes the visitors’ slacking minds by employing their senses. 

The works within the exhibition represent familiar objects that are not available to be a part of our everyday experience anymore. The caviar cannot be tasted, it’s impossible to play in a sandbox, the unrecognisable monuments are out of reach, while the empty useless jars become an unexpectedly firm foundation underneath our feet.

Artists in the exhibition “Soap and Water”:

Diana Nakrevič
Eglė Lekevičiūtė
Gintarė Vaicekauskaitė
Neringa Puzanavičiūtė

Opening of the exhibition: 26th of October, at 5 pm
Duration: 26 October - 12 November, 2021
Location: VAA gallery "Artifex", Gaono str. 1, Vilnius.

Curated by Irma Stanaitytė-Bazienė
Poster design by Pijus Chraptavičius
Image (used in the poster) by Eglė Lekevičiūtė
Translation by Austėja Masliukaitė
Special thanks to Salvijus Misevičius, Gailė Cijūnaitytė

The exhibition “Running Lines” in the VAA gallery "Academy" will open the same day, on the 26th of October, at 6 pm