Exhibition “Four Points. Eight Stops” at Fotoforum West, Austria

September 6, 2010  |  Exhibitions, Publishing

PI Culture Menu presents exhibition and catalogue


09 09 2010-10 10 2010
Authors: Arūnas Baltėnas, Joana Deltuvaitė, Algimantas Kunčius, Aleksandras Macijauskas, Romualdas Rakauskas, Rokas Pralgauskas, Antanas Sutkus, Arturas Valiauga
Curator Eglė Deltuvaitė
Gallery „Fotoforum West“, Innsbruck, Austria http://www.fotoforumwest.at/eng/home.htm

MAN. The humanism typical of late 20th century Lithuanian photography is especially distinct in the long since classical works of Antanas Sutkus. Man is the protagonist of his painstakingly created cycles, the face of the era, looking out openly at the photographer/psychologist. The author, living today in research of the treasures of his archive, has been saying for over a dozen years that the reason for the end of his creative work is the disappearance of his character. The character is non-existent in today’s society… Ironically enough, the same reason fuels the intensive creativity of Arūnas Baltėnas, a photographer of the middle generation, who photographs the inhabitants of the ethnic Lithuanian regions. His characters die day by day, remaining only in the photographs which exude acceptation and peace. It is important for Baltėnas to sense and record through man the traditions, customs, values, and household ways still preserved in the tiny remote huts, the authentic environment… Both authors have a similarly non-critical view of man, who to them is an unquestionable value in itself, developed in the photographs as proof of changing times.

REALITY. The Lithuanian classic Aleksandras Macijauskas is distinguished by his critical, mutinous views on life and creativity. While in Soviet times his singular expression was subject to frequent criticism, today he belongs among the most valuable Lithuanian photographers. For twenty years, Macijauskas photographed the markets of Lithuania, reflecting not just the specifics of Soviet-era “economics” and the everyday lives of village markets, but also the identity, lifestyle, and ethnic particularity of Lithuanians. Identity is also the core axis of the brilliant middle-generation photographer Arturas Valiauga, who in his series “Hangar of Kupiškis Flee Market ” touches upon the reality of man living in the times of market economics. His ironic and questioning view of the relation between humans and items/merchandise actualizes the controversy of today’s economics. The main points of coincidence in Macijauskas and Valiauga’s work are the unadorned reality, the singular recognizable style, and the critical thinking characteristic of both.

ROMANTICS. Romualdas Rakauskas – a Lithuanian photography poet, is incurably romantic both in life and art. His staged and candid shots from “Blooming”, a cycle which took ten years to develop, speaks a language known to every romantic: spring, beauty, youth, love, woman, fulfillment, poetry/literature… All this is also typical of the series “In the Mood for Love” by the young artist and occasional accordion player Rokas Pralgauskas. This author is closer to his subjects, and his works contain more melancholy, reflections of the modern world, un-staged naturalness. This is a case of art directly reflecting their being and vice versa. It seems that everything is the same, only over the threshold of fifty years.

EXISTENCE. Algimantas Kunčius is a philosophic photographer, an artist with a precise outlook on his environment and photography. His cycle “Reminiscences” is a glance at the world around the author, or to be more exact – an analysis of self as an individual through the close/concerning environment, connected through mediating photography. The photography of Joana Deltuvaitė is similar to Kunčius’ cycle in the way the works are composed and in the way humans are eliminated while speaking about everyday life and being, in the sense of time flow, and in the existential outlook on the environment humans inhabit. Humans are virtually absent from these works, only their belongings and environment are seen through destruction and creation, aestheticized by the language of photography.

The “Four points. Eight stops” exhibition is a comparative exhibition of the 7th and 8th decades of the 20th century and the times of the 21st century, an encounter of their statuses, states, values, being, photographic creations. The works of eight authors of different generations in their collisions and separations speak of the essential cross-sections of life. The few drawn parallels are like hints which can develop in different trajectories for everyone. Keywords suggested to the viewer enable him to resist the created field of thought and to introduce his own contexts.

The exhibition catalog intentionally presents other relevant series by the authors, defining an alternative to the exhibition and an additional map of outstanding Lithuanian photography.

© Eglė Deltuvaitė

Translated by Olga Lempert
Catalogue design by Gytis Skudžinskas (www.gys.lt)
Sponsor Culture Support Foundation of the Republic of Lithuania

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