Exhibition “Climbing Invisible Structures. Ritualized Disciplinary Practices in Social Life” 29th April – 15th May 2016

Vandens rezervuaras
Water reservoir. Photo by urban exploration project Pamiršta.lt
Underground Water Reservoir,  20 Liepkalnio Street, Vilnius29th April – 15th May 2016.
Artists: Tanya Busse, Victoria Durnak, Saulius Leonavičius & Vida Strasevičiūtė, Robertas Narkus,  Kristin Tårnesvik
Curators: Eglė Mikalajūnė and Samir M’kadmi

There are at least two major ways of understanding the word discipline. In the first case, discipline means training people to obey rules or codes of behaviour. The second, indicates a branch of knowledge, like those studied in higher education, such as art, medicine or anthropology. The second implicates somehow the first. Learning entails the acquisition of knowledge and skills through experience and study. Teachings necessitate not only some kind of consent and submission to rules and conventions, to what is taught, but also trust and belief.

We are more likely to adopt propositions and conventions if we believe in them, then not. But if we look closer, then it seems that some of the beliefs we trust are based on justification and proofs, while other do not. Not because they are self-evident or tautological, but only because they involve teachings, i.e. beliefs. Yet, believes could also be acquired through revelation or by means of ritual use of hallucinogens. In other words, the question of belief and knowledge is both metaphysical and epistemological.

These are some of the invisible structures that shape our understanding and daily lives. In this exhibition we are looking at ritualized disciplinary practices that has become so intrinsic and pervasive that they have become invisible. But, they are still there, they didn’t completely disappear – we still have to climb them, in other words, to experience them and to feel them shape, produce and reproduce our behaviours and identities. However, it is important to keep in mind that these practices are not inherited immutable traditions. They are both agents of change and creativity.

The works in the exhibition point to a wide range of ritualized practices, connecting performances executed by people who lived ages ago, and whose activities can only by traced by means of archaeology, to contemporary rituals. Stretching from symbolic gesture familiar to everyone, such as binding a gift – a jewel with a promise of love, to art exhibitions such as biennales or visits to museums. These practices are questioned, interpreted, disrupted, modified and fictionalized. New understandings of past rituals are proposed, and directions for new ones are set up.

The broadcast sound will fuse ancient mode of existence with contemporary ways to experience music. Intimate love stories will be sold with jewellery to become part of some strangers’ lives in faraway countries. New recipes of especially distilled spirits will be born not from professional experimentations but from condensing inspiration into a bottle. A biennale conceived as an untold saga will be announced. A costume will open up possibilities to change usual patterns of behaviour and to find other ways to relate to nature.

The works are installed in a space that once was a part of a new and ambitious project – a modern system of water supply, constructed in 1912-1916 in Vilnius. It was an invisible underground structure of the city that made a big impact on everyday lives of the citizens. However, over the time its meaning for the city has changed and after one hundred years it is used for a different activity, as an art venue, for the first time.

Viso ekrano užfiksavimas 2016.04.19 203450


The exhibition will be open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 2 PM to 8 PM. It may also be visited by appointment. Please, call +370 675 10015 or write This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The exhibition is part of a two-years-long residency and exhibition project between six institutions in three countries, Iceland, Lithuania and Norway. Ten artists-in-residency created works for four exhibitions in Vilnius, Nida, Žeimiai (Lithuania) and Lillestrøm (Norway). This exhibition presents works of five artists and invites to see larger shows in other locations. Most of the works presented in this show will be developed further and will take different forms in next exhibitions.

Artists of the project: Mo Abd-Ulla, Eglė Budvytytė, Tanya Busse, Victoria Durnak, Gunnhildur Hauksdóttir, Berglind Jona Hlynsdóttir, Saulius Leonavičius & Vida Strasevičiūtė, Robertas Narkus, Augustas Serapinas, Kristin Tårnesvik

Curators: Eglė Mikalajūnė and Samir M’kadmi

Architect of the project: Rokas Kilčiauskas

Designer: Indrė Klimaitė

Following exhibitions:

21 May- 19 June, 2016, VAA Nida Art Colony, Lithuania
30 July – 28 August, 2016, Residency Centre YO YO, Žeimiai Manor, Jonava district, Lithuania
10 February – 12 March, 2017, Akershus Art Centre, Lillestrøm, Norway

Partners of the project:

Akershus Art Centre, Lillestrøm, Norway
Office for Contemporary Art, Oslo, Norway
Nordic Artists' Centre, Dale, Norway
Residency Centre YO YO, Žeimiai Manor, Jonava district, Lithuania
Skaftell Center for Visual Art, Seyðisfjörður, Iceland
JSC Vilniaus vandenys”, Vilnius, Lithuania

This Vilnius Academy of Arts‘ project “Discipline Today. Residency Exchange and Exhibition” project No. EEE-LT07-KM-01-K-01-035 is supported by a grant through the EEA Financial Mechanism and Lithuanian State Programme LT07 “Promotion of Diversity in Culture and Arts within European Cultural Heritage”, project is also supported by Lithuanian Council for Culture.


 EEA paprastas LTK Originalus Logotipas anglu 
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