Lithuanian Photography Exhibition at the gallery Fotoforum

February 3, 2014  |  Exhibitions

The exhibitions of Joana Deltuvaitė and Algis Griškevičius at the Fotoforum gallery, Innsbruck, Austria.

2014 02 06 – 2014 03 08
Joana Deltuvaitė / PRIVATE IN PUBLIC
Algis Griškevičius / FROM THE LIFE OF MUTANTS

| Adolf-Pichler-Platz 8 | A-6020 Innsbruck | T +43 664 1875808 | E | Di – Fr 15 – 19 | Sa 10 – 13

More information about Joana Deltuvaite project:

More information about Algis Griškevičius project:

Algis Griškevičius
From the Life of Mutants

Mutants are changing or changed objects. They look human, but are they? Sometimes it is unclear whether they are a reflection of us, or the opposite – a living (?) reproof of today’s society. In criticism of the modern body image and its constant exaggerated admiration, Algis Griskevicius purposely deforms the human body or places it in an unusual and unnatural context. The human in Algis’ work is often larger than his environment which is inadequately diminished in comparison to the human as an additional emphasis on the ungrounded self-importance and shallowness of man. Sometimes the human body is broken into parts which become minor details in a perfect composition. The tendency is particularly pronounced in his still lives, those non-accidental symbols of death. The author consciously hides the human face, destroying its identity. Someone is holding this faceless and therefore meaningless body by a rope tied to the leg. Is it God? Death? Time? Fate? Be that as it may, the result is the same. The body is un-deified and the human’s temporary shape merges with its environment. Even Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man becomes in Algis’ work a nice older man’s body fitted into a ring of hazelnut branches, where the imperfect composition contributes to the imperfect testimony of imperfection.

Trophies constitute another ironic interpretation of the human body perception. Human body parts are displayed on walls beside deer, hawks, crayfish, and goats. Who can collect humans? Only someone more powerful. Is it God or Death?..
Symbols of God, Death, and Time are typical of Algis’ entire body of work, but he does not talk about religion. The Biblical motifs and symbols in his photography give off the fully realistic ghastliness of the real live human. However, the question of the relation between humans and mutants remains open.

Some of the mutants are expecting manna from heaven, others are serving as keepers to subterranean fires, others still are watching water or the dusk, or diving into the ground, “fluorescing”, and yet others – repenting… Among them – a woman swallowing sand out of an hourglass in someone’s hands (“from dust thou art; and unto dust thou shalt return”). The Jewish heroine Judith is now saving– whom? Such metaphors as a severed head, blowing bubbles, or hunting for happiness signify the ephemerity of worldly desires, the despicability and instability of the world, and the existence of death. “Removal from the Apple Tree” is not only a direct reference to the Biblical story of Adam and Eve, but also an upside-down symbol of the Crucifixion. Once again, the irony and absurdity typical of Algis’ work. Another shot, “Her Seduction”, is another confirmation of the universal character of Biblical topics, with the serpent replaced by a rope leading the mind towards a voluntary exit.

Although the Mutant Lives series is not directly related to Christianity, but the eternal Biblical motifs are inevitably interwoven with art history and represent encoded religious symbols for many of us. Paradoxically, at a time when Christianity is going through one of its most difficult stages historically, the artist uses symbols we associate with religion to criticise modernity and express the meaninglessness of modern society. This meaninglessness and absurdity turn into a pointed visualization of modernity. Perhaps the Biblical motifs so pervading all art forms have become the best language to emphasize what we all understand but can no longer admit because of that same shallowness.
Incidentally, the distinctive sign of a mutant is a bird’s head. I am not sure whether the symbol language is relevant in this case, but its mere existence delineates an additional opposition between the significance of the symbol and the object under criticism. The bird is an aid of preserving eternity, a guard of human well-being, a representation of the free spirit and of growth, prosperity, lifted spirits, and inspiration. The opposition returns us to the question of whether the mutants mask fits us.

© Text by Eglė Deltuvaitė
Translated by Olga Lempert

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