On January 25th, the day when Gediminas first mentioned the name of Vilnius in his letters, the exhibition “Salve, Vilnius” will be opened at Energy and Technology Museum. This is a continuous exhibition with the participation of professional artists from all over Lithuania and abroad. The fifth exhibition is dedicated to Vilnius, on the occasion of its upcoming 700th anniversary and is part of the Vilnius 700 initiative.
The exhibitions “Salve, Vilnius” started in 2018 at the Lithuanian Exhibition and Congress Center LITEXPO, during the exhibition “Art for the Interior”. The second exhibition was held in 2019 in the “Domus galerija”. The third was exhibited in 2020 in Trakų Vokė manor house palace. 2021 due to Covid-19 pandemic, it was organized under the slightly changed name “Salve, Vilnius, otherwise” at the Vilnius Bernardine Community Center.
Anniversary of the capital
The exhibition opens at Energy and Technology Museum on January 25th 5 PM and is dedicated to congratulating Vilnius on the occasion of the upcoming anniversary. During the opening, Vladas Braziūnas and Agota Zdanavičiūtė will perform a poetic musical composition for the poet’s voice and the sounding abundance of “Vilnius Heteroglossia”.
Three dozen artists are exhibiting their works in the exhibition, including the curator of the exhibition Ričardas Zdanavičius, Loreta Zdanavičienė, Artūras Braziūnas, Živilė Jasutytė, Audrius Gražys, Kęstutis Musteikis, Marius Strolia, Marijonas Šlektavičius, Ernestas Žvaigždinas, Virginija Kirvelienė, Evaldas Grinius and many more.
The anniversary of the capital will be celebrated for the first time in 2023, as exactly 700 years ago, on January 25th 1323, Vilnius was first mentioned as the capital of Lithuania in the Latin letters of the Grand Duke of Lithuania Gediminas to the cities of Western Europe. This year is dedicated to the preparations for the upcoming anniversary.
The name of the exhibition was inspired by the Latin inscription “salve” (Latin: hello) on the doorsteps of some old residential buildings in Vilnius. It is a respectful address to the landlord, resident or incoming guest. These multi-colored shredded marble inscriptions, which appeared at the beginning of the 20th century, are a marking initiated by Vilnius architect Adam Anton Filipowicz-Dubowik.
As before, the authors of “Salve, Vilnius” have a somewhat unusual condition – the paintings must be round rather than rectangular: a tondo, an oval, an arch or a round sphere, the sculptures – sleek, the textile – round or convex.
The round art objects are non-incidental. Decorative compositions of the circle date back to antiquity and later Renaissance (tondo, plafonds, medallions, cartouche), (mosaics, frescoes, reliefs, stained glass, tapestries). These are ornate decorative elements in interiors, exteriors and solemn symbolic compositions in the visual arts.
The sculpturally sleek form of the works of art is a hint of the winding streets of Vilnius Old Town and the round details of its old architecture. Graceful Gothic, Baroque church domes and towers, classicist, Empire-style buildings (the Presidential Palace of the Republic of Lithuania, Chodkevičiai and Tiškevičiai palaces), manors, houses with arched windows are musically in harmony with the hilly relief of Vilnius.
The buildings of modern architecture sometimes harmoniously (and sometimes not) merge into the panorama of the city. The multinational nature of the capital and the coexistence of different cultures form not only the unique face of the city, but also its transformation into the twists and turns of history. Not only that, those living abroad also feel deep sentiments about Vilnius. So it is not surprising that old Vilnius has been, is and will remain a source of inspiration for many generations of artists.
The organizers of the exhibition hope that these works will allow to establish a dialogue with the city and reflect on the relationship of the authors and Vilnius. Participation in this exhibition is an exceptional opportunity for contemporary artists who cherish respectful attention to our city, to reveal their own language of visual art and creatively actualize the legendary stories of Vilnius and modern artistic concepts of everyday life that give meaning to the identity of Vilnius residents.
The curator of the exhibition is Ričardas Zdanavičius.
Irena Mika Mikuličiūtė
Gražina Murelytė Ajauskienė
The exhibition will be open until March 28th.