Anastasia Sosunova, Agnė Jokšė, Anton Karyuk, Naglis Kristijonas Zakaras, Goda Palekaitė ir Adomas Palekas, Iza Tarasewicz, Liliana Zeic, the unknown author of Grodno archive.
2023 03 17 – 05 01
Opening 17 March, 7pm

‘In the beginning was the deed!’ are words from Johann Wolfgang Goethe’s “Faust”, that the scientist utters before making a deal with Mephistopheles, prioritising action over thought and word in changing the world order. These words were used as a slogan by the anarchist group Black Banner active in Białystok, Dnipro and Odessa in 1906, the slogan unambiguously expressing the use of aggressive physical force against the tsarist government and increasingly powerful industrialists and bankers. The history of this and various other anti-imperialist groups that operated in the territory that is delineated by current borders of Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova and Russia, was brought to life in 2021 by the exhibition “Na początku był czyn!” held in Białystok’s gallery Arsenal. Curators of this exhibition not only opened these archives, but also together with artists (and) activists reflected the context of today’s social, political and contemporary art transformations.

The exhibition “In the beginning was the deed!” organised at the Kaunas Artists’ House continues the narrative started in Bialystok with the history of anarchist movements in Lithuania. By opening the archives, this story turns the exhibition into a conversation about the ways of writing and reading radical collective and personal narratives, about the (im)possibility of resistance to dominant powers and their forms of representation, about the unevenness of the margins of everyday life.

During the exhibition, the social center Emma will host a discursive events program, which will include stories about bright rebellious personalities and little known archives, initiatives of resistance, drag, and self-publishing.

Researchers, and participants of events program: Viktorija Kolbešnikova, Aleksander Łaniewski, Tomas Marcinkevičius, Darius Pocevičius, Auksė Petrulienė, Asta Volungė, Querelle.

Opening day program:

19:00 Exhibition doors open at the Kaunas Artists’ House (V. Putvinskio str. 56)

19:30 Talk with Bialystok’s exhibition “Na początku był czyn!” curators Matthew Post and Katarzyna Różniak-Szabelska

20:00 Exhibition tour with artists and curators

21:00 Opening party with Querelle at the social center Emma (A. Mickevičiaus str. 35)

Exhibition curators: Edgaras Gerasimovičius, Vaida Stepanovaitė

Research and public program curator: Agnė Bagdžiūnaitė

Design: Vytautas Volbekas

Organised by: Kaunas Artists’ House, Swallow (Vilnius), gallery Arsenal (Bialystok)

Project is funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture

Thank you: Antanas Dombrovskij, Antanas Stanislauskas, social centre Emma collective





Vitebsko g. 23,
11350 Vilnius

IV-V, 16-19 val.
VI, 13-16 val.

+370 6 75 89313