21 July–8 October 2023
Nida Art Colony of the Vilnius Academy of Arts
E. A. Jonušo Str. 3
Open Tuesday to Sunday, 11am–5pm
KRATC waste collection site in Neringa
2.8 km from Preila towards Pervalka
Open Tuesday to Friday 9am–6pm, Saturday 10am–2pm
Case (Ieva Lygnugarytė & Xavier Mitchell), Annika Eriksson, Felix Kalmenson, Tomasz Kobialka, Zoe Leonard, Fox Maxy, Marija Olšauskaitė, Mykolas Valantinas (in collaboration with Mečislovas Ežerskis), Nijolė Vilutytė, Miglė Vyčinaitė and Lukas Danys
The exhibition will come in a form I cannot yet imagine.
When thinking of how artists can interact with the environment in Neringa, the term ‘obsession’ comes to mind. It entered my vocabulary almost as a synonym for the cathartic religious glossary of passion, temptation and ecstasy. Obsession might mean a total involvement, a necessity or a fling. Or perhaps, a seemingly ‘irrational’ force which drives artists to find answers, express their desires, ask questions, and make gestures that disrupt structures of power, as poetic gestures of what philosopher Ewa Majewska terms ‘weak resistance’.
I heard of artists who were haunting their artworks in institutions, punishing them for poor upkeep.
I heard of artists who carved 4000 walking canes, and of artists obsessed with those artists. I heard of artists who can’t stop filming, the camera lens becoming a protection of their point of view.
I heard of artists who grew suspicious of every stone they found in a city built from gravestones.
I heard of artists who process life through images and materials, work bullshit jobs and can’t not make art. I wanted to write to them and say ‘I think I get it’. It takes one to know one.
Life on the Curonian spit revolves around the high season: birds, insects, plants, people, and the seasonal flow of capital. ‘Migration can be triggered by the angle of sunlight, indicating a change in season, temperature, plant life, and food supply,’ writes the poet Ocean Vuong when comparing human migration to the migration of monarch butterflies – ‘it only takes a single night of frost to kill off a generation’. Which is to say, a bad summer season on the Curonian Spit may ruin a life. You see, we find ourselves in a resort town on a human-shaped landscape with a complex legacy of colonial history spanning over the last two centuries, forming the landscape and its narrative with its twists, contradictions, and unexpected turns. While today, the picturesque view provides a backdrop for the neoliberal branding of the landscape, a staged authenticity formed by real estate operations, and a particular kind of resort-town urban development imagination.
The roles are distributed: a guest, a ghost, a host, a superhost.
The exhibition is curated by the artist Anastasia Sosunova who invited ten international and Lithuania-based artists to develop new, or place existing works in the particular setting of KRATC, a waste collection and recycling site in Neringa, and the exhibition space of Nida Art Colony of Vilnius Academy of Arts.
The collaboration between NAC and Anastasia Sosunova reflects the hybrid character of NAC, linking long-term collaborations with artists who explore their practice in different types of collaborative formats that include teaching, commissioned works, publishing and exhibition making. In 2021 and 2022 Sosunova was working on the site specific sculpture and publication. My Own Private Ghost Town and in winter 2023 she conducted a 5-day long intensive study course Rites of a Secular Age for students from Vilnius Academy of Arts and the KUNO network of Art Academies in the Nordic and Baltic region.
Production assistance: Diāna Mikāne
Exhibition architecture: Laura Kaminskaitė
Exhibition installation: Anton Shramkov
AV installation: Agnė Jokšė
Communication: Milena Černiakaitė
Graphic design: Andreas V. Nielsen
Translation to Lithuanian and proofreading: Alexandra Bondarev, Austėja Banytė, Vilius Verbus, Aušra Bagočiūnaitė-Šmaižienė
English proofreading: Gemma Lloyd
Nida Art Colony of Vilnius Academy of Arts: Milena Černiakaitė, Lilija Dulkė, Vasilisa Filatova, Alberta Globienė, Giedrius Globys, Egija Inzule, Asta Jackutė, Dalia Jokūbauskaitė, Oksana Kirpanova, Aldona Lankauskienė, Dovilė Lapinskaitė, Elena Orlovienė, Daura Polonskytė, Anton Shramkov, Yana Ustymenko, Katerina Vaseko, Tetjana Volosiuk, Artemy Volosiuk
Thanks to: Martynas Alseika, Darijus Malonė, Edvinas Grinkevičius, Milda Januševičiūtė, Vaida Stepanovaitė, National Gallery of Art, Pranas Domšaitis Gallery, Klaipeda Culture Communication Center, Nida Culture and Tourism Information Center Agila.
Partners: KRATC, Neringa Museums, Thomas Mann Museum, BĮ Paslaugos Neringai
Funded by: Lithuanian Council for Culture, Neringa Municipality, Goethe-Institut, Nordic-Baltic Mobility Programme for Culture