Exhibition 'Nida Art Colony: Genius Loci'

Exhibition runs from 4th to 11th of April, 2012 in KKKC Exhibition hall – www.kulturpolis.lt. Opening at 6pm on 4th of April.

Curators: Yulia Starsteva (Canada) and Vytautas Michelkevičius (Lithuania)

Artists: Quentin Armand (FR), Liddy Scheffknecht (AT), Lena Dobrowolska (PL/UK), Juha Pekka Matias Laakkonen (FIN), Bjargey Ólafsdóttir (IS), Justin Tyler Tate (CAN/EE), Aistė Goda Viršulytė (LT), Gwenn-Ael Lynn (USA/FR), Milda Laužikaitė and Eglė Eigirdaitė (LT), Marianna La Rosa (JP/IT/JAV),Yulia Starstev (Kanada), Fiona Flynn and Sascha Kachur (UK), Saulius Leonavičius (LT) and others.More info at www.nidacolony.lt

Genius Loci is the first curated exhibition of artworks produced at the Nida Art Colony. The term genius loci refers to the distinctive atmosphere or pervading spirit of a place. This exhibition focuses on those works that dealt primarily with Nida as a sensory environment; Light, sound, smell, touch, narrative, communication, and experience. The definition of a place goes beyond its spatial configuration. To the fluctuating barometric pressure, the shifting of the sand, and the temperament of the water. In a remote location, the environment becomes a character with whom one must make dealings. Nature presents itself not in a romantic or nostalgic way, but as something with which you exchange time; bargaining with the wind and the water, searching, waiting. The works produced by the residents in the first year of the colony reflect the psychological effect of the conditions of living and working in Nida.

The first work to be produced at the Colony is the chronological start of the exhibition. “Raft” produced by Quentin Armand is a transient space made to exist as “a room made to stay blank without a home above”. The minimal construction of a floatation device acts metaphorically. The material, tree branches that fell from the trees, is directly related to the space of Nida. “It is not a ship, but a location”. This distinction between place and location is key, as a location has a direct set of coordinates but a place shifts in relation to other places. This is similar to a ship, or one’s place at the dinner table. This ship is ephemeral and would fall apart in the water. Thus it is both place and location, both moving and stationary, both form of transportation and an object.

The work of recent residents will also be included, such as Lena Dobrowolska’s response to Thomas Mann’s novel “Magic Mountain”. The work is a photography-based installation that utilizes the landscape of Nida as a substance to precipitate the concept of “organs without bodies” and “bodies without organs”, referencing theory developed by Deleuze and Guattari. The concept of body as collection in relation to the organ as object parallels that of place and location. Both suggest to the physical position of a subject. Where the body is the place of a subject’s location, the organ is a place in the body. To position the organ outside of the body is to redefine in and out as synonyms rather than antonyms.

The structure of the exhibition has been arranged according to aesthetic and subject rather than chronology in order to emphasize parallel and divergent approaches. While it is difficult to experience these works outside of the environment in which they were produced, and in some cases only as photographic traces, these works may be thought of as organs outside of a body. It is positioned so as to redefine the space outside of Nida as a synonym to the inside. The exhibition is curated to reflect the internal relationship between members of the ephemeral places that come to exist within the Colony.