6th Liverpool Biennial - City Sates: Vilnius"City Without Walls" Curated by Laura Rutkutė and Raúl Zamudio, Organised by Galerija VARTAI, Vilnius Artists: Laura Garbštienė, Žilvinas Kempinas, Žilvinas Landzbergas, S&P Stanikas
6th Liverpool Biennial
18 September - 28 November 2010
Title: City Without Walls
Artists: Laura Garbštienė, Žilvinas Kempinas, Žilvinas Landzbergas, S&P Stanikas
Curators: Laura Rutkutė, Raúl Zamudio, curatorial assistant: Augustina Matusevičiūtė
Organiser: Vartai Gallery, Vilnius
Supported by: Vilnius City Municipality, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, Cultural Foundation of the Republic of Lithuania, Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in the UK, Vartai Gallery, Libravitalis, IGEPA group, Inga Luskovic, AZcommunications, Lietuvos Rytas, The Lithuanian Youth Association in the United Kingdom.
Patron: Mayor of Vilnius Vilius Navickas
Vartai Gallery announces Vilnius’ participation in the 6th Liverpool Biennial project <CityStates> in collaboration with the Contemporary Urban Centre. <CityStates> is a series of international exhibitions exploring the cultural dynamic between cities and states to which Vartai Gallery responds with the exhibition City Without Walls presenting four contemporary Lithuanian artists: Laura Garbštienė, Žilvinas Kempinas, Žilvinas Landzbergas and S&P Stanikas.
The participants in City Without Walls embody international artistic sensibilities engendered by the Lithuanian capital’s urbanity. Formal heterogeneity, visual poetics and conceptual verve are dovetailed together in the myriad themes they address.
Interdisciplinary artist Laura Garbštienė will present Film about an Unknown Artist (2009), which won the International Critics' Prize (FIPRESCI Prize) and received a special mention by the International Jury at the 56th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen.The film is a witty, yet politically charged story, which ironically questions the myth of artistic genius as a romantic concept. Garbštienė is often the dominant physical presence in her own art, while achieving critical distance through her fictional narratives. Beyond the rough shell of 8 mm film quality (blown up to 16mm), used in the modern day to allude to authenticity lies an equally anachronistic dilemma particularly relevant in the contemporary art world context of artist as superstar.
New York based Lithuanian installation artist Žilvinas Kempinas, who represented Lithuania at the 53rd Venice Biennale, is mostly known for his perception and space altering installations, which invite the viewer to participate in the event of art as it unravels. In this exhibition Kempinas will present Lemniscate (2008), a kinetic sculpture referring to the idea of an eternal mechanism, an unlimited set of lines drawn in space by the suspended strip of magnetic tape, struggling with the billowing force of circulating air. Magnetic tape at once becomes a ready-made, while its use addresses the laws of physics and phenomenology. The ultimately inaccessible redundant data carrier coupled with the power of the industrial fans becomes an installation, which has its own sound, and atmosphere, making it a powerful spectacle to observe.
Lithuanian installation artist Žilvinas Landzbergas’ contribution to the show is Holy Promises (2010). Actively exhibiting since 2003 the artist received the prestigious Thieme Art Award from the modern and contemporary art publisher in 2008. Working in installation Žilvinas Landzbergas addresses the theme of simulated environments and invites the viewers to question their objectivity and rationality, when faced with hauntingly familiar scenarios and cultural references. A life size scene seemingly comprised of stage props made of simple materials references the stillness of a diorama in the way it wraps the space and folds time. In this suspended reality the viewer becomes both spectator and participant in a play yet to be constructed by individual experiences with the work.
The work of the Paris based Lithuanian artists S&P Stanikas, whorepresented Lithuania at the 50th Venice Biennale, is as varied in its disciplines as it is complex conceptually. Exhibiting from New York to Shanghai the artists deal with the universal human condition through the medium of drawing, sculpture, photography, and video. In this exhibition S&P Stanikas will present multi-part drawings accompanied by ready-mades, documents and home photography simulating an environment that alludes to the physical and emotional state of the subject of their study. Allergy to the Sun (Hannelore Kohl) (2010), the title of their installation, which indirectly quotes the tragic suicide of the photophobic wife of German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, is ultimately a case study of trauma, accomplished with a degree of social detachment enthralling the viewer with their observation skills.
Contemporary Urban Centre
41 – 51 Greenland Street, Liverpool, L1 0BS, UK
Opening reception: 17 Sept, 11.30 pm
Press preview: 16 Sept, 10 am-6 pm
Professional preview: 17 Sept, 10 am-9 pm
General public: 18 Sept, Tues-Sat 11 am-6 pm, Sun 11 am-4 pm