- Published on Monday, 02 May 2016 13:25
In 2013 a small resort town Sierre in the Swiss Alps turned into the place which artists Arūnas Gudaitis, Juozas Laivys, Konstantinas Bogdanas, Laura Stasiulytė, Petra Köhle together with Nicolas Vermot Petit-Outhenin and Sarah Hendrickx visited, where they passed each other or desired to be in. They knew about one another and now they even could have some things or thoughts belonging to the ones they have not met. In different ways and through different experiences this space created circumstances for artists to act and to give effect to the meeting/exhibition as a traveller-giant-souvenir a year later in Vilnius.
A book by the poet and literary critic Susan Stewart On Longing (1984) – a gift of memory, received later on – got the stones moving, collected the souvenirs of runaway events, and assembled artists to revise stories which were relegated to private time.
Waddling stones, a book without a place, walking miniatures, promenades and butterflies, pendant telecabines, flying and passing artists, moving flickers, talking postcards, slinking cameras, physical and mental migration, a place between emerald sturgeons and Starbucks Americano. There where they should have been yesterday they are here today. He has never been there.
The meeting of the artists in Sierre was made possible by Nida Art Colony of the Vilnius Academy of Arts, the University of Art of Valais (ECAV) and the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia (project On Hosting and Displacing, 2012-2013); the meeting in Vilnius – by the Lithuanian Council for Culture and NGO Mene.
Magnified image of a reflection of a briefly illuminated half a million worth diamond kept in a bank repository.
Within the framework of a test set-up designed for this purpose, Petra Köhle and Nicolas Vermot traveled separately for 21 days to Palermo where they recorded their respective routes and activities in detail, given that they had to be able to verify later where they were located at every moment of their stay. Supplied with GPS and dictaphone, with camera and note pad, the two of them wandered through the Sicilian city with the goal of determining if two people who want to encounter each other actually meet somewhere, sometime in a metropolitan setting with an area of 22,000 soccer fields – even if the rules of the game forbid the systematic search for the other person. A wealth of documents consequently accumulated (diary entries, photographs, recordings, videos), which collectively yield a portrait of the city of Palermo contrasting sharply to a tourist’s view. At the same time they also document the moods and thoughts of the two protagonists moving around in this foreign city alone, but always having in mind a possible encounter with the other. Consequently the soberly established rules produce a situation where they both have to come to terms with their foreignness, loneliness and longing; a situation that provokes inner monologues about accidental or fateful encounters, about searching and hunting, about rules and the breaking of them.
The work was inspired by unfavourable, unsuccessful circumstances and a wish to resist them. It would be possible to imagine what Bogdanas would have created if he would have been in residency in Switzerland, however, avoiding hypothetical considerations, the artist simply takes part in the exhibition.
A mobile object found in the Lithuanian flea market was ten times enlarged and produced in Switzerland. Pupée was travelling in the Valais Canton, she visited sculptures in Martigny, paid a visit to a wine museum in Sierre, to the local bar Seventh Sky, took pictures in the local homesteads which are rich in sculptural objects. The mobile sculpture has a special hidden container with a bottle of wine. Thus it expands the story about a specific product which creates additional value. It lives at the Villa Ruffieux in Sierre. At the moment it is briefly visiting Vilnius.
The artist is interested in the country as a metaphor of some other specific place. In the focus of her artistic research are the detailed descriptions of visits to the Swiss sanatoriums, pensions, and hotels which are frequently found in the early 20th century literature, biographies, diaries and letters of artists and intellectuals. Karin Johannison draws attention to the similarities between the fatigue of the early 20th century and the stress of the early 21stcentury. When the artist searched the key words “Swiss old postcard” on the internet, she ended up in the section “Topographical: Rest of the World”, and this became the axis for her art project.
Texts from collected early 20th century post cards sent from Swiss sanatoriums, hotels and pensions, replace images. The sender of the monochromatic postcards without names and addresses is the early 21st century „artist in residence at Villa Rufieux.“
It is believed that the melancholic story The Butterfly by H.K. Andersen was inspired by his frequent walks on the promenade from Montreux to Chillon. The fastidious butterfly is looking for a bride – a flower. All the brides – flowers – are picked and collected: from the earliest – violet, to the latest – mint and chrysanthemum. The names of all flowers mentioned in the tale are translated into Latin and inscribed on the wall.
Author visited the legendary Clinique Valmont which was a luxurious sanctuary for many. Walking around the clinic she noticed a bench which has almost turned into a flower.
Porcelain telecabine produced according to a 1920 postcard from Sierre. It is currently circling on the sunny porch of Villa Rufieux, Sierre.
“What could happen if we would take all the rocks of the world, and put them on one side of the planet?” was the question artist posted on internet blogs, waiting for answers that might tell us more about the impact which a big amount of a small entity can have on a whole system.
Laying on a table the map “Rock Migration” provides detailed information about the journey of a selection of 12 stones, which she observed during her stay nn Vilnius. Sarah followed them and tracked their movements. A series of stone portraits – as light imprints on blue paper – witness their physical existence. The spinning top and the earth projected on a white wall are continuously rotating seemingly weightless in the same direction.
The Library Book II – Vilnius, 2014
On her last day in Vilnius Sarah placed a white covered book with no title inside the VDA Art Reading Room. In the book, the reader is asked to write down the location of the book (between book... and...), along with it the date and time of its find. The book will become a self-sustaining diary of its travels throughout the library.
White Book, 2014
Book, 48 pages
Photo by Marta Ivanova, Arnas Anskaitis