After logging in, you'll be able to save your favorite works of art in this section. Read more about “My Collection” in the “Project” section.
Push slider to the right
Registration successful.
Username already exists!
Passwords do not match!
Slider error
You are almost done. To activate your account, please click the link in the activation email which has been sent to your email address ( )
A new password has been sent.
Algirdas Šeškus
About the Author
  • Art photographer.
  • Born 1945 in Vilnius.
  • Member of the Lithuanian Union of Art Photographers.
  • Works owned by private collectors in Lithuania and abroad.
About the Artworks
“... but the impression that an image is not necessary for a photograph is completely accurate”, says photographer Algirdas Šeškus. Then what does a photograph consist of?
At the end of the 1970s, when Šeškus began taking photographs as if not paying attention to aesthetics, few understood his work. It was difficult to justify the obvious banality and irrelevance of the objects, their monotony and fake amateurism: incorrect composition, overexposure, scratched negatives, crooked frames and poor paper. Later on, these aspects evoked “painful nostalgia diluted with irony” for art critic Alfonsas Andriuškevičius, “a state of anaemia, apathy and passivity” for musicologist Eglė Kunčiuvienė, exiting the “boundaries of the picture ‘by five centimetres’” for critic of Russian literature Levas Aninskis, “aesthetics of boredom” for me, and “devizualization” for historian of photography Margarita Matulytė. And still, Šeškus' photography remained a mystery.
My guess is that by disrupting the pleasure of experiencing professionally produced imagery, Šeškus suggests looking at a photograph as a membrane: as it is vibrated by the photographer from one side and reality from the other, certain music of chance occurrences is created. As one listens to it, one should better forget what they know about photography and look, without thinking, at the movement of people and clouds as they measure the slowness of time in the grey of everyday experience.
Ukrainian photographer Boris Mikhailov, who used to attend seminars in Nida in the 1990s and who photographed Kharkiv's boredom in a similar fashion, dedicates one page to Šeškus in his book “Unfinished dissertation”: “He said that with his exhibition he wanted to delineate a circle whose boundaries he should not cross, while I surrounded myself with a paling of thoughts unearthed by someone else.” Where is this limit of Šeškus' circle beyond which there would be nothing left? Deficiency and excess of light are such a limit, as is photographing with a truncated piece of film: the film ends, while the image continues. We are brought closer to this limit also by subtle differences of the same image across several shots, disintegrating composition and disappearing figures; as well as by the undressing – the limit of what is acceptable. Being close to the limit but not stepping beyond it, Šeškus has broken the boundaries set by others. And what has remained?
Emphasis on “unnatural” tonality helps to see photography, i.e. the writing of light that is sometimes done badly, imperfectly, incompletely and after which there may be nothing that remains. This is a circle of minimal imagery beyond which there would be nothing: instead of getting stuck in the image, Šeškus tries to touch upon the existence itself.
In the early 1990s Šeškus withdrew from art for a long time – until 2010, when Matulytė held an exhibition at the National Gallery of Art and published a book Archives (Pohulianka). But when she began exploring Šeškus' archives, unsticking one photo from another and cleaning up the mould, he started preparing his book The Green Bridge with Malvina Jelinskaite and published it a year earlier. For the artist, the focus on him has been like a stepping stone: he now publishes at least one photography book every year: Love Lyrics (2011), A Variation on the Theme of Being Outside (2012), Shaman (2013), In the Squeaking of Plastic Swans (2014), TV (2016), notebooks called New Time (Metropolis, Cafe de Paris, Sweet flow-, Slow Lethe, Celebration in the City, 2016).
The book TV was compiled by a young artist Gintaras Didžiapetris from negatives of the years 1975 to 1985 when Šeškus worked as a television cameraman. The book is much different from anniversary “photo cakes” (the pretext for its appearance was the 60th anniversary of the first broadcast by Lithuanian television). Both artists neglect the “client's” desire to be represented and the mass taste. The book begins with photographs of sleeping men scratching bare backs, since this is a story about the cameraman's day spent shooting “the right view”. Cameraman Šeškus, secretly turning into a photographer, shifts these “professional” compositions and frames them together with all the props and cameramen themselves: we see both the projection intended for the audience and the efforts put into creating it. A performance of high Culture is taking place, but traditional folk clogs treacherously clatter on the studio floor, as people dazzled by the light play themselves, being both “outside” and “inside” at the same time. No moment is “unique” or “decisive”. The eye moves as does the thought: there are little adventures, glances and surprises everywhere around. Šeškus reminds us what “television” means: seeing from a distance when the observed one does not see us.
But after all, this has always been the goal of photography, whose head-on collision with reality Šeškus has always managed to bypass and redesign. By covering a little extra space and time (both before, after the action and in-between), he showcases the awkwardness of reality, which is also that of a person caught in a TV studio box, when artificial feelings have to be broadcast into the vacuum.
Agnė Narušytė
All works by this artist
No artworks found.
[[item.description]] [[item.details]]
You have subscribed successfully.
Patikrinkite savo pašto dėžutę ir paspauskite nat gautos nuorods norėdami patvirtinti užsakymą.