In June 7th the exhibition “Other Energy” by group of artists opens in the Energy and Technology Museum. The mastermind and participant of the exhibition is the painter Andrius Zakarauskas, who has collected dynamic works of younger and older generations of artists. “Concerned noise is becoming an integral part of the present,” said Zakarauskas. In the exhibition, almost 20 currently working artists try to describe what is the energy that drives creativity, what influences it the most, and what causes determine new forms and plots emerging in art.
We talked to Zakarauskas about the behind-the-scenes of the exhibition.
– Who dictated the theme of the exhibition? What energy are you talking about?
– The name of the exhibition was suggested by the location, the name of Energy and Technology Museum. And the “energy” itself is related to the generation and realization of painting images. Finally, there was a desire to create a group exhibition of painters – to group, to get close to each other. I invited the participants personally, those who are close to me. I wanted to collect the works of authors that are extremely dynamic in their image construction, hypnotic and act like visual noise in an extremely noisy space.
In the exhibition, we ask: what is the energy that drives painting, which is influenced by digital technologies, social networks, faith, personal experiences? It is also an effort to name the ever-renewing forms, plots, and most importantly, reasons of painting.
– Didn’t you get scared by Energy and Technology Museum as an exhibition space? Turbines, boilers, pipes, steam condensers… a lot of noise here. Which is noisier – an exhibition or a museum?
– The museum is full of various devices, which the group and I are preparing to supplement and extend, according to the architectural concept of the exhibition. For example, we plan to extend the model of the Kruonis Pumped Storage Plant with Medeina Revuckaitė’s objective works. Therefore, the exhibition is not intended only for visual noise, but also for creating a dialogue.
– Visual noise is a reflection of our time? How would you describe it?
– Exactly, a reflection of our time. That concerned noise is becoming an integral part of the present. I remembered the words of Professor Povilas Ričardas Vaitiekūnas that his generation is the generation of silence, and today’s is the generation of noise.
The image I’m interested in is overflowing, moving, luminous, filling or coming out of itself. I usually describe it as “hypnotic”: full of tense energy, a charge from which it is difficult to withdraw, it affects both the mind and the eyes. The visually noisy museum space will be complemented by those exhibition authors who capture today’s images.
– How often do you visit museums instead of galleries? A few years ago, you exhibited your paintings in the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania. Why do you think art exhibitions are being held more and more often in public spaces?
– I visit exhibitions in galleries, museums and wherever I am curious. It seems to me that there have always been exhibitions or displays of art in public places. I see the everyday environment as an interesting (or less interesting) installation. Even buildings can be seen as sculptural objects, only in Lithuania they are rarely interesting.
Paintings are quite sensitive objects, physically dependent on environmental conditions, so it is necessary to protect them. By the way, I have seen a building specially built for a painting in Salzburg. In this way, the work of art was conditionally assigned to public, open space, for visiting.
In the National Library, as in this museum, I organized the exhibition by personal invitation. The space on the second floor of the library is similar to a classic gallery, conforming to the “white cube” principle. So I chose the pieces in such a way that their arrangement repeats a monotonous rhythm, applying light and dark strokes, again and again. That movement of the stroke, the rhythm could be seen standing in the center of the space.
– You present your work in personal exhibitions not only in Lithuania, but also abroad. And who pushed you to curate the group exhibition?
– The desire to communicate, to conduct a conversation between different age groups, between painters and viewers. It is also a personal challenge with a great responsibility towards other participants of the exhibition.
– The exhibition includes the works of both recognized and still-studying artists. What ties do you have?
– The age of the authors is different – from recent graduates to professors and laureate of Lithuanian National Prize for Culture and Arts. I pay special attention to painters younger than me, some of whom I have taught myself. And senior exhibitors taught me.
– How would you describe the character and creativity of the young generation? What impresses you about it?
– I could name the character of the younger participants as a creation that is influenced by a plastic or illuminating image. Although I am most fascinated by the openness, curiosity and other good human qualities of the authors.
– And what features attract you in the work of your peers?
– What is most fascinating about them is their uniqueness – a sincere, personal, sensitive touch when creating an image. That image enchants, engages, provides many references to the history of art, experience. Finally, such an image “fly away”. For example, Eglė Ridikaitė’s painting appeared after the artist joined the campaign at the Vilnius Academy of Arts to weave a camouflage net for Ukrainian soldiers. So, next to the magical image, immersed in endless strokes, there is the artist herself with her human qualities, which are not feared, not hidden – they are what attracts the most.
– What works will you exhibit? Maybe you created something new for this exhibition?
– At the exhibition I will show my latest works, those that I still live by. Although I didn’t create specifically for the upcoming exhibition, I thought in my mind whether it would be suitable for it or if I could exhibit any of the previously created works.
– What is the most important for you in organizing the “Other Energy”? What outcome do you expect?
– I don’t want to name myself as an organizer – rather I am one of them. Help was needed from each of the invited participants. During the preparation of the exhibition, I asked my colleagues to each choose the works they would like to present and the theme of the exhibition was fulfilled by the art critic Justina Augustytė. Electronic music creator Justinas Mikulskis will complement the exhibition and create a musical image for the ears. The most important thing is to create a celebration for ourselves and the audience. We would like the exhibition to be visited, exciting, gather a bigger team and open up wider opportunities for future projects.
Andrius Zakarauskas (born in 1982) is an artist born in Kaunas and studied painting at the Vilnius Academy of Arts. In 2009 he received the Young Painter Prize, and in 2011 he was awarded the Best Young Artist by Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania. Zakarauskas actively organizes personal exhibitions, his works were added to many private collections in Lithuania and abroad. His work is characterized by introspection and self-reflection, a lot of attention is paid to color and stroke and the author draws inspiration from his immediate environment, past and present art.