Tomasz Kowalski
Foam City
05 06-31 07 2021

Polish artist Tomasz Kowalski’s solo exhibition “Foam City” marks the first solo presentation of the artist’s work in Lithuania, organised as part of the 14th Baltic Triennial – The Endless Frontier.

In Foam City, Kowalski’s frequently used bubble motif becomes an allegory of a continuously produced human environment. The soapy and only partially transparent membrane of the bubbles reflects projections of external realities. Although, when viewed from the inside, these possible worlds seem to be right in front of us, as soon as we try to reach them, the bubble bursts. The bubbles act like optical devices, whose swelling, vibrating iridescent surfaces distort and multiply the reflections of our personal and communal lives.

The exhibition features a demon – the protagonist of a hypothetical situation defying the second law of thermodynamics, devised in 1867 by the Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell. The situation is usually depicted as a space made up of two rooms with two-coloured bubbles moving across it at different speeds. The door separating the two rooms is controlled by a demon, who keeps opening and closing it, outrunning the moving particles and thus separating the warmer from the cooler ones in different rooms. Thus, one room gradually warms while the other one cools down, and thermodynamic equilibrium is never reached. Maxwell’s demon is an articulation of how within the boundaries of the collision between two separate systems – both at the molecular and the political level – operate eccentric, untrustworthy forces that are not subject to their rules and orders. In ways known only to themselves, these forces distribute and regulate the invisible flows of information, energy and matter circulating between the two environments. Moreover, since they are at work both internally and externally, the collision with them cannot be represented on a coordinate plane or any other diagram. How we feel their action is rather “from the inside” – as an inflammation in the body or an irritated state of consciousness in which our sensorium instinctively tenses up and begins to react by saturating the colours of the environment, reducing all shapes of unclear boundaries into geometric figures and combining individual sounds into rhythms.

In Foam City, Kowalski’s drawings, paintings, sculptures and sound works offer a dreamlike critical image of contemporary social life, where the invisible boundaries of our personal security and intimacy are loosely fused with the material limits of the city – fences, streets, walls of buildings. The building material of the foam city – bubbles, equally fluid and solid, fragile and plastic, combine to form a growing and renewable mass of foam, with no established distinction between inside and outside. Here, Maxwell’s demon sorting the particles into separate rooms is not an allegory of an exception to a physical law, but the only rule of an unpredictably changing social and material order. Kowalski’s works cultivate a troubling and enchanting, both atomised and fluid image of a reality, in which life that happens on the fringes of society, culture and the imagination is brought to the foreground.

Tomasz Kowalski (born 1984 in Szczebrzeszyn) has had solo exhibitions at the Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle Warsaw, Contemporary Art Museum St Louis, group exhibitions at Kunsthalle Wien, de Appel Art Centre, MUMOK, Centre Pompidou, MSN Warsaw, SMAK Ghent among others. His works are in the public collections of Centre Pompidou, MUMOK, MOCAK, Frac des Pays de la Loire, Francois Pinault, Boros, Olbricht. He is the winner of the Guerlain Foundation Drawing Award 2014. He runs Alicja, a music label releasing various artists and his own music and sound-plays.

Graphic design: Nerijus Rimkus and Vytautas Volbekas (the illustration contains a fragment of a drawing by Tomasz Kowalski)

Translation: Alexandra Bondarev and Aistis Žekevičius

Exposition installation: Antanas Gerlikas

The exhibition was open for visitors 5th June – 31st July

Many thanks to Justė Beniušytė, Alexandra Bondarev, Antanas Gerlikas, Edvard Gotovski, Laura Kaminskaitė, Viktoras Musteikis, Vytautas Volbekas, Antanas Stanislauskas, Lukas Škimelis, Aistis Žekevičius and UAB “Baltic Film Transport”.

 

 

 

Anastasia Sosunova, Express Method

Author publication–artist notes

„Express Method” – artist notes that have taken the form of a printed author publication. As an ‘excursus to realms beyond the exhibition terrain’, these notes lead through multiple conceptual and material nodes formed through – sometimes slow and extensive – time, even if those nodes at first glance don’t have that much in common. Instead of proposing an all-binding red string, the text allows the already fragmented world to keep coming apart, and come together in the most peculiar shapes. Everyday charms, enchantments of immediate-effect, magic tablecloths, furniture without memory, ethnographers who have become disenchanted with their life’s work and have gotten all the things wrong, and electric fences of new neighborhoods for the supposed protection from the monsters. These are the rituals that embody personal and communal practices; fictions making up alternative codes to soothe our anxieties. Accompanied by the author’s etchings, these notes engage with the other texts and their authors, reminding that notes are one of the ways to make a connection and stay in it.

Gathering the little pieces of the puzzles people and communities construct themselves through, I am interested in secular rituals of identification – rituals and gestures that reflect a profound desire to discover passage or protection; a rational and, at the same time, magical action that would pave the way for a new life and new self-perception. To learn a hack. A secret code. A method. A spell. Before and after, once and for all.

Publication is available for purchase:
* Swallow, Vitebsko g. 23, Vilnius

Edited by Vaida Stepanovaitė
Design by Vytautas Volbekas
Translationby Austėja Banytė
English proofreading by Noah Brehmer
Published by Swallow, in collaboration with project space Kabinetas
Financed by Lithuanian Council for Culture
ISBN 978-609-96226-0-6
80 pages
2021

 

 

 

BLUEISH
06.11.2020-19.12.2020
     Artists:
Beatričė Mockevičiūtė and Gintautas Trimakas
     Curator:
Audrius Pocius

Due to the quarantine announced in the country in fight with the spread of COVID-19, there will be no public opening of the exhibition or other physical events in the exhibition space taking place. A special introduction video will be published on the opening day of the exhibition presenting the displayed works in more detail along with interviews with the authors. Accompanying photo and video content will also be published regularly over the course of the exhibition.

Blueish is an exhibition combining the works of two authors, Beatričė Mockevičiūtė and Gintautas Trimakas. The idea for the exhibition came up at the beginning of the summer of 2019, while observing the slow-moving vault of the sky reflected on the steel surface of Mockevičiūtė’s work Asukas exhibited in the CAC yard. This somewhat overly free and slightly haphazard association with Trimakas’s photographs from the cycle City. A Different Angle became an impetus to think about the relationship between the works of these creators. The frivolous observation eventually revealed a creative conversation between two unique artists that had been going on for a while; two artists who, although coming from different generations and characterized by their own distinctive artistic style, share a cognate creative “hearing”; cognate, but not identical – linking the authors’ work by syncopation rather than a unified rhythm.

In their creative practices, both artists develop observational instruments and methods for capturing a special way of catching light, colour, and form, which gives these properties a kind of autonomy from the object to which they would otherwise belong. At the same time, this catch is in turn freed from the restless human gaze, able to see things only by defining them and giving them names. Trimakas’s photographs do not touch or interpret the objects being photographed, but rather testify to their silent existence, and the reflections of sunlight captured in Mockevičiūtė’s steel and glass works in turn do not become representations – instead, the author highlights their transitivity by making them performatively recur. While the results of these practices – ephemeral, abstract images – may seem inaccessible to the naked eye and as if sunken in their own inwardness, they also establish a certain moment of “here and now”, thus zooming in and revealing those aspects of the world that are usually blurred out and silenced by everyday life. For Trimakas, the photographic technique is a way to bring to the surface what in experience cannot be reduced to technology, while Mockevičiūtė looks at accidental reflections born in the relationship between light and architecture and gives them subjective properties, as if suggesting them to open their eyes themselves. By speaking to objects from different angles this way, the works of the two authors talk about what is inhuman, what is involved in everyday life only as the other side of the image or its negative, thus acquiring characteristics associated with nature.

This way, the exhibited works indirectly intertwine with motifs of the vault of the sky and its negative, balancing among them by capturing light or its momentary reflections and absorbing them on photo paper. While Mockevičiūtė’s installation covering the windows of the exhibition space refracts daylight, responding to the artist’s glass works displayed on the gallery floor, a new series of Trimakas’s works on the western poplar-coated wall accompanies the journey of the evening sun. The exhibition also features Trimakas’s interior photographs and Mockevičiūtė’s watercolours never before exhibited publicly, and over time will be supplemented with new works created in the exhibition space itself.

Artists:
Beatričė Mockevičiūtė ir Gintautas Trimakas

Curator:
Audrius Pocius

Ideas for the exhibition exposition design:
Laura Kaminskaitė

Graphic design:
Vytautas Volbekas

Text editing and translation:
Alexandra Bondarev

Exhibition installation:
Jokūbas Adamonis, Jurgis Paškevičius

Video content directing and production:
Jokūbas Čižikas, Milda Januševičiūtė

Photography and exhibition documentation:
Visvaldas Morkevičius, Laurynas Skaisgiela

The exhibition is financed by the Lithuanian Council for Culture.

Special thanks to:
Edgaras Gerasimovičius, Agnė Kuprytė, Aistė Marija Stankevičiūtė, Vaida Stepanovaitė, Rokas Vaičiulis, Anton Zolo


Partners:
Artnews.lt, Echo Gone Wrong, Kabinetas

Exhibition view: Blueish, Swallow, Vilnius, 2020. Photo © Laurynas Skeisgiela

Exhibition view: Blueish, Swallow, Vilnius, 2020. Photo © Laurynas Skeisgiela

Exhibition view: Blueish, Swallow, Vilnius, 2020. Photo © Laurynas Skeisgiela

Gintautas Trimakas, folded gelatin lumen print (fragment), 18 x 18, 2020. Photo © Laurynas Skeisgiela

Gintautas Trimakas, silver gelatin negative, 40 x 30, 2012. Photo © Laurynas Skeisgiela

Exhibition view: Blueish, Swallow, Vilnius, 2020. Photo © Laurynas Skeisgiela

Gintautas Trimakas, lumen print, 28 x 28, 2019; lumen print, 28 x 28, 2018. Photo © Laurynas Skeisgiela

Gintautas Trimakas, lumen print, 28 x 28, 2018. Photo © Laurynas Skeisgiela

Gintautas Trimakas, folded gelatin lumen print, 18 x 18; folded gelatin lumen print, 28 x 28, 2020. Photo © Laurynas Skeisgiela

Gintautas Trimakas, direct positive, 18 x 18, 2019. Photo © Laurynas Skeisgiela

Gintautas Trimakas, lumen print, 28 x 28, 2019. Photo © Laurynas Skeisgiela

Beatričė Mockevičiūtė, Blueish, paper, 4800 x 3750 mm, 2020. Photo © Laurynas Skeisgiela

Beatričė Mockevičiūtė, Blueish, paper, 4800 x 3750 mm, 2020. Photo © Laurynas Skeisgiela

Beatričė Mockevičiūtė, Blueish 8, glass, light, 700 x 420mm, 2020. Photo © Laurynas Skeisgiela

Beatričė Mockevičiūtė, Blueish 8, glass, light, 700 x 420 mm, 2020. Photo © Laurynas Skeisgiela

Beatričė Mockevičiūtė, Blueish 8, glass, light, 700 x 420 mm, 2020. Photo © Laurynas Skeisgiela

Beatričė Mockevičiūtė, Blueish 8, glass, light, 700 x 420 mm, 2020. Photo © Laurynas Skeisgiela

Beatričė Mockevičiūtė, Blueish 8, glass, light, 700 x 420 mm, 2020. Photo © Laurynas Skeisgiela

Beatričė Mockevičiūtė, Blueish 8, glass, light, 700 x 420 mm, 2020. Photo © Laurynas Skeisgiela

Beatričė Mockevičiūtė, Bliueish 22, watercolors, 90 x 90 mm, 2020. Photo © Laurynas Skeisgiela

Beatričė Mockevičiūtė, Bliueish 22, watercolors, 90 x 90 mm, 2020. Photo © Laurynas Skeisgiela

PALYDOS
06 08 2020–17 09 2020
     Artists:
Gabrielė Adomaitytė, Viltė Bražiūnaitė ir Tomas Sinkevičius, Martin Ebner, Agnė Jokšė, Ona Juciūtė, Laura Kaminskaitė, and Nicholas Matranga
     Curators:
Edgaras Gerasimovičius, Audrius Pocius, Vaida Stepanovaitė

Probably the first challenge that a freshly-born contemporary art space has to face is trying to grasp the time in which it will thrive. After all, every exhibition, text or artwork exhibited here will inevitably become a commentary on what is “contemporary” in contemporary art.

The time of ‘Palydos’ is a special time: the globe is still being shaken by the shock of the pandemic, speculations about what the future will look like are as contradictory as ever, while what unites their diversity and scenarios is only a general consensus that the future is bound to be completely different from the past; for after what has happened, nothing can remain as before. And yet these speculations remain blind as long as they are believed to speak of something more than just the time we live in now – giving voice to expectations, desires and traumas rooted in modernity and disguising them with the promise that this time will take on a different face than the present.

So Swallow’s first exhibition marks this journey from one uncertainty to another. A journey in which the traveller becomes more concerned with the concern itself rather than the final destination, and the city surrounding the path becomes increasingly pregnant with stories and fictions. These, in turn, haven taken root in reality, become free to speak of it from the perspective of possibility, able to reveal its contradictions, and grasp its deep tensions invisible to the naked eye.

For this city is made up as much of parks and squares as it is of stories of constant retelling, gradually sinking into these urban places. Moving from mouth to mouth, these stories change this space, at the same time changing themselves, transcending the boundaries of an individual being. On the one hand, this relay of constant retelling is inseparable from a conservative approach to the past, the preservation of heritage and the attempt to make it more “present” by sticking memorial plaques on walls and seating marble gentlemen in stone armchairs on the squares. On the other hand, it gives a voice to what we might call folklore – a certain “people’s throat” that gargles the same syllables until it transforms them into something new. Paradoxically, this never-ending retelling shows us that this “people’s throat” contains a kind of negative aspect to memory – it is important to hear what is being said, but even more important to listen to what remains silenced.

Thus, the works presented in ‘Palydos’ seek to immerse in this peculiar “swamp of the city’s subconscious” and grasp these orderless life forces spontaneously forming the city: a curiosity permeated with dreams, desperation or laziness, outbursts of hidden lust, dreams and hallucinations, thoughtlessly broken promises, exceptions to behaviour that summarize rules, or just wordless mutual understanding.

Graphic designer:
Vytautas Volbekas

Translation and proofreading:
Aleksandra Bondarev

Exhibition documentation:
Laurynas Skaisgiela

The project is financed by Lithuanian Council for Culture

Supporters:
UAB „Rėmelis“, Valdas Studio

Partners:
Starship magazine, echogonewrong.com, artnews.lt

Many thanks to:
Autarkia, Nick Bastis, Justė Beniušytė, Aleksandra Bondarev, Lina Blauzdavičiūtė, Vytautas Budziejus, Jokūbas Čižikas, Danutė Gambickaitė, Kipras Garla, Gailė Griciūtė, Ričardas Gerasimovičius, Antanas Gerlikas, Edvinas Grinkevičius, Adam Harrison, Eglė Juocevičiūtė, Petras Išora and Ona Lozuraitytė, Monika Kalinauskaitė, Kaunas Artists’ House, Valentinas Klimašauskas, Agnė Kuprytė, Matas Labašauskas,Lithuanian Interdisciplinary Artists’ Association, Ignas Meilūnas, Pilypas Misiukevičius, Beatričė Mockevičiūtė, Greta Milevičiūtė, Ariane Müller, Robertas Narkus, João Laia, Thomas Plantenga, Matthew Post, Valdas Pukevičius, Andrius and Mykolas Sinkevičiai, Greta Slivskytė, Antanas Stanislauskas, Aistė Marija Stankevičiūtė, magazine „Starship“, Rūta Stepanovaitė, Emilija Škarnulytė, Andrius Šoblinskas, Gintautas Trimakas, Rokas Vaičiulis, Kotryna Žukauskaitė

Reproduction of the picture used:
Stanislovas Bohušas-Sestšencevičius, „Children of Vilnius (Famine in Vilnius)“ / „Children in the Outskirts“. Oil on canvas. 210 x 205 cm, 1917. Courtesy of the Lithuanian National Museum of Art

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