19.07.2019 – 29.09.2019
National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Arsenal, Nizny Novgorod
Triumph Gallery, National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Arsenal and the Embassy of Lithuania in Russia in collaboration with the Lithuanian Culture Institute present the 10th exhibition in the EXTENSION project, covering current Lithuanian art scene. "EXTENSION.LT: Parallel Narratives" features over ten contemporary Lithuanian artists.
EXTENSION has traditionally invited artists working in different media and addressing different issues but always connected within a common context where stylistic and thematic diversity attains a shared meaning. In case of EXTENSION, this context originally came from geography of a given art scene. This has shaped the project and its aspiration to highlight different local schools, whereas its serialized structure made the audience predisposed to look for dialogues between the schools. At EXTENSION.LT the national and geographical context is upstaged by a more general idea: the relation between people and history, and formations of new identities.
Lithuania, as part of Eastern Europe, has been influenced in a major way by different empires and other countries throughout its history. Lithuania today experiences a new growth of the problem of national identity; with that, the issues of national identity, conceptualization of historical trauma or achievements have regained their relevance among contemporary Lithuanian artists and writers. The subtitle of the exhibition points to an established literary device, that is, nonlinear narrative, which usually provides several points of view with parallel plots. This approach has informed the group show, where a multitude of perspectives creates a space for a discussion on historical memory and formation of new identities through means of contemporary art.
The exhibition comprises works by different generations of artists who tap into large sets of temporal and historical contexts. They share, however, a common attitude to art and artistic reflection on time.
Working in different media, the artists make installations, video, drawings and paintings. Each work is a diverse collection of ideas and parallel narratives, yet the main focus is still on the individual with their subjective perception and evaluation of events.
The exhibition is structured as "parallel narratives", where each artist contemplates individual historical events, facts, traditions of the past, present and future.
In "From. Between. To", Indrė Šerpytytė investigates how the making, exchange and ritual use of traditional woven sashes found across the Baltic States examines how folk traditions are central to the formation of local and State identities. Vytautas Viržbickas experiments with contemporary sculpture in a broad social discourse of the 21 century and reflects upon mechanisms that make up our contemporary social world-model, which intertwines all of the following: power of information, modern culture, military geopolitics, consumption society as well as individual loneliness. Emilija Škarnulytė is in dialogue with the topical research; her film "Mirror Matter" dissects the urgencies of a rapidly developing—or, possibly, unraveling—planet. Mindaugas Lukošaitis approaches history through observation of architecture and its decay as the indicator of humanity’s demise. His drawing series "Compositions" explores the holes, gaps, cavities and blacknesses of every ruined house, dug-up street, and dead city.
Specially for this exhibition in Russia, one of the most renowned Lithuanian artists Žilvinas Kempinas is going to make a prototype of his new artwork, "Matryoshka of War", fashioned as the well-known type of Russian doll where each smaller unit fits inside a larger one.
Deimantas Narkevičius presents another video-storytelling film about abandoned Soviet nuclear rocket launch bases, "The Dud Effect".
At the center of the exposition comprising drawings, paintings, sculptures and installations, young creator, performance artist and gallerist Andrej Polukord will open "L-Cabinet", the second mobile office of Galerie Uberall, fitted with the requisite exhibition equipment and a lounge area. On the opening night of the exhibition by Galerie Uberall, he will make a live presentation of the office and the gallerist’s toolkit. "Equally important to me are double meanings and ambiguities, which above all play a crucial role in my performances. The absurd liberates us from the seriousness that otherwise always sets the tone in our life", Polukord explains.