Jumat, 18 Maret 2011

Deimantas Narkevicius - Kaimetis aka Countryman (2002)

Crispin wrote:
A man reflects on the his political as well as personal (aka the private/public split) position in modern Lithuania

About the Director

From http: //www.culturebase. net/artist.php?699 link

Deimantas Narkevicius was born in 1964 in Lithuania and lives and works in Vilnius. He works in film and video taking a subjective and contemporary view of history. He has gained recognition at the highest level within the international art scene and represented his country at the 49th Venice Biennale in 2001. He has a solid record of exhibitions world-wide and held solo exhibitions in France, Belgium, Lithuania and at the Munchner Kunsverein.
Deimantas Narkevicius was born in 1964 in Utena, Lithuania and lives and works in Vilnius. He graduated from the Art Academy in Vilnius as a sculptor and spent a year in London in 1992/93. On his return to Lithuania he was concerned with site-specific objects but a strong interest in narrative led him to record interviews and conversations with artists. This process evolved into an exploration of different narrative structures through film and video, the work for which Narkevicius is now best known.

Narkevicius is one of the most consistent and widely recognised Lithuanian artists on the international art scene. He represented his country at the 49th Venice Biennale in 2001 and exhibits at the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003 in ‘Utopia Station’ curated by Molly Nesbit and Hans Ulrich Obrist.

Since 1992 he has exhibited extensively around the world in group shows at many significant contemporary art venues and events. He showed at Manifesta II in Luxemburg in 1998 and has exhibited in London, Paris, Brussels, Vilnius, Manchester, Dublin, Vienna, Brussels, Helsinki, Stockholm, Zurich, Rotterdam, Melbourne and many other cities. Solo shows include ‘Either true or fictitious’, at FRAC Pays de la Loire in France in 2003 and ‘Deimantas Narkevicius Project’ at the Munchner Kunstverein, Munich in 2002.

Narkevicius described the themes and origins of his work at the 49th Venice Biennale:

´Although my works deal with contemporary themes, the underlying problems usually go back a long time. I started my work as an artist in a period of dynamic change for my society. The stress and neurosis caused by all the dynamism diverted this society from both historical reflection and future concerns. The ideological "orientation" that dominated for decades was - among other things - an attempt at creating a society above and beyond history. The new political situation re-inserted us into the rotating circuit of history, which inevitably requires a vision. But as we started working on such a vision for ourselves, things re-emerged from the past; phenomena that had been hidden under the surfaces of ideology. They lead us into uncharted, unwanted, unpleasant territory, muddling our vision of the future.´

Film works presented at Venice in 2001 were ‘Legend Coming True’ (1999, 68 min.), the story of a woman survivor reminiscing about the Jewish ghetto in Vilnius during the Second World War and ‘Energy Lithuania’ (2000, 17 min.), a documentary study of an electric power plant designed as an embodiment of optimism in the Modernist era. Narkevicius also made ‘Feast – Calamity’ a site specific installation that turned architectural detail into a light ‘post-sculpture’. The artist stated: ´The work takes place as light and darkness interchange. These two qualitative extremes do not mark a metaphysical dimension. They indicate, rather, the human, physiological reaction to changes in lighting, as well as the technological source for rays of light.´

In an interview with Hans Ulrich Obrist in 2002, Narkevicius spoke of the connection he sees between sculpture and his films. ´I think my film is a sort of extension of my sculpture. For Manifesta II, I made an installation using films. These films deal with space. The projectors were equally important. In terms of painting and sculpture, ‘Energy Lithuania’ is an ongoing image like a painting…. When I was making the film I was thinking of it as a documentary, but the connections with painting very much emerged during the editing process.´ Obrist asked about his process in making a film. ´It’s probably like making a sculpture, though not in the sense of modelling objects. Rather it is a matter of choosing an area in which you’re going to work. It’s more like a sculpture for a specific location. Within this area that you yourself define, I start to look for a certain structure. Because of the specificity of the medium, there are always things that I leave to happen in unexpected ways within the filmed objects and people, the unexpected surfaces.´

At Munich Kunstverein in 2002 Deimantas Narkevicius curated the exhibition of his own work. Critic Maria Lind wrote, ´There is something uncompromising about Deimantas Narkevicius’ way of placing the individual and his or her history at the centre of things. Nevertheless it is neither a question of a personal cult nor neo-liberal individualism. He is interested in people with ordinary lives, even though they live in a changing society, and in authentic and often existential biographical experiences.´ He showed ‘His-story’ (1998), ‘Legend Coming True’, ‘Energy Lithuania’ (2000), ‘Europa 54° 54’ - 25° 19’’ (1997) and a new work, ‘Kaimeitis’ (Countrymen).

´Deimantas Narkevicius uses recent Lithuanian history in order to question how it is possible to be creative and adopt an avant-garde position in a context that makes personal creativity and pioneering activity in general difficult.´ (Maria Lind)

SOURCES: based on ‘Giving Voice, Giving Body’ article for Kunstverein Munich by Maria Lind and an interview by Hans Ulrich Obrist with Deimantas Narkevicius on
Author: Judith Staines

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