lithuanian videospritz 2022
two weekends of Lithuanian cinema and videoart in Trieste: a film and a conversation to celebrate the centenary of the birth of Jonas Mekas (18–20 Nov.) and an aperitif with videomakers Patricija Gilytė, Eglė Grėbliauskaitė and Vitalij Strigunkov (25–27 Nov.)
Jonas Mekas, As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty, 2000, still from the film
Trieste Contemporanea is pleased to present the second edition of Lithuanian Videospritz. The project, curated by Daniele Capra, consists of two consecutive weekends in which screenings and conversations will alternate: together with the experts who have analysed the work, the protagonists of the event will be an international historical artist from the Baltic country such as Jonas Mekas (18-20 November) and some of the most influential voices of contemporary video art (25-27 November).
Lithuanian Videospritz 2022 is organised under the auspices and support of the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in Italy and the Lithuanian Culture Institute, in partnership with the Lithuanian Interdisciplinary Artists’ Association in Vilnius, with the support of the Lithuanian Council for Culture, and of the Lithuanian Film Centre under the Ministry of Culture. The initiative is a jonasmekas100.com event. Collaboration in Trieste to the initiative is given by the L’Officina association and the Studio Tommaseo.
From 18 to 20 November 2022
A Tribute to Jonas Mekas.
The first weekend will be entirely dedicated to the great writer, poet, artist, director and co-founder of the Anthology Film Archives, one of the most important members of Fluxus, whose 100th birthday falls this year. The Trieste event is therefore part of the Jonas Mekas 100! initiative, a rich program of events coordinated worldwide in 2022 by the Lithuanian Culture Institute to celebrate the centenary of one of the most important cultural figures of the Baltic country in the 20th and 21st centuries, and a fully-fledged global cultural phenomenon, considered by many to be the ‘father of avant-garde cinema’.
On Friday 18 and Sunday 20 November from 16.00 to 20.00, thanks to the collaboration of the Lithuanian Film Centre under the Ministry of Culture in Vilnius we will be able to enjoy the screening of documentary film As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty, a long experimental film in which in 2000 Mekas condenses the path of a lifetime of moving images in an uninterrupted flow. Read more
On Saturday 19 November at 18.30, Giulia Simi will talk with the curator Daniele Capra about the corpus of works by the Lithuanian artist starting from Jonas Mekas: cinema e vita (Jonas Mekas: cinema and life). This is the first Italian monograph on the artist that Simi published for ETS Edizioni in 2022 and in which the scholar, researcher and professor at the University of Sassari, covers the entire life and multifaceted work of Mekas, in which artistic practice is intertwined with critical and curatorial practice: from the dissemination of New American Cinema to the foundation of the Anthology Film Archives.
Jonas Mekas (1922 – 2019), as Simi says, was a true legend of experimental and avant-garde cinema and the first master of the family film as an art form, dedicated his life to the moving image: from film to video, from installations to the web. For him – a Lithuanian prisoner in a Nazi labour camp and an emigrant to New York at the end of the war – cinema was the thread with which to mend the wound with reality, transforming the pain for the loss of his homeland into a space of welcome and celebration of life. His Diary Film, born out of necessity and ‘desperation’, transforms the cinema of the minute events of everyday life into a revolution of the gaze and a political act.
From 25 to 27 November 2022
An Aperitif with the Artists.
The second weekend will be dedicated to discovering the work of Patricija Gilytė, Eglė Grėbliauskaitė and Vitalij Strigunkov. On Friday 25 November at 18.30, the three artists will talk with curator Daniele Capra about their practice, describing the ways they conduct their investigation, the random interactions between life and work, but also the political implications of their analysis. This talk will be held in English. On Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 November from 16.00 to 20.00, the venue will host a screening of selected video works by the three artists.
The research of Patricija Gilytė (Kaunas, 1972) originates from a keen interest in three-dimensional elements and the performance practice of sculpture, the results of which range freely from installation to video and environmental work. In the videos Behind the front. Legend or Lakeside Finish, in which the artist herself is the protagonist, Gilytė investigates the mutability of the body and natural phenomena as well as the instantaneous possibilities of sculpture. In works such as Tri Galaxian L-4116, the artist instead stages a real set, similar to those used in animation or science fiction films, in which she moves the camera, allowing the unaware viewer to perceive distant worlds and to fantasise about spaces that open up infinitely.
The artistic practice of Eglė Grėbliauskaitė (Vilnius, 1974) stems from an analysis of social and political dynamics and the interaction between people, places and memory in the changing political contexts, which take shape in installations in public space and in video and sound works. In her practice these themes take shape in painting, in video or sound works, and in installations in public space. In artworks such as MĖTOO, in which the artist places old metal letters from the Soviet era in front of the Academy of Fine Arts in Vilnius, or New Good Floor for Titanic, in which she restores the concrete floor of an exhibition venue previously covered with tiles, Grėbliauskaitė reflects on the intrusiveness and means of coercion of power reflected in individual stories and in the public context.
In his works Vitalij Strigunkov (Vilnius, 1990) explores the economy of symbolic capital and the emergence and disappearance of cultural value, creating contrasts with broader cultural, social and political issues. Strigunkov’s works combine appropriate images and stories, actions, drawings, videos and installations. His works investigate the symbolic aspects of human action and the cultural construction of the spatial or temporal boundary. Videos such as Waiting, made on the occasion of US Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Lithuania, show how an accidental delay in the politician’s exit from the plane messed up the scripts of the television commentators who were following the event. In A Year, A Few Months and Some More, the artist compares the measure of time in different places around the globe and the laws that determine the validity of copyright, reflecting on the limits of the applications of law and the impossibility of real synchronicity between events.