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.
Before and After Twilight
Erika Grigoravičienė
At the juncture of the 20th and 21st centuries, many of the first generation of New Art creators turned to film and video cameras, and the moving image, very often with sound, became an indispensable medium of expression.
Henrikas Gulbinas, of Kaunas, is considered the pioneer of video art in Lithuania. Before emigrating in 1988, he exhibited some of this video works in Klaipėda in 1987. Gintaras Šeputis, although a student of textiles at the Academy of Art, contributed to the development of this artistic form, building on his early experimentation with an 8 mm film camera in his teenage years in Šiauliai. Following a visit to the Düsseldorf Art Academy and its Photography and Video Arts Department in 1991, Šeputis sought to establish a similar department at the Vilnius Academy of Arts (VAA). The photographer Alvydas Lukys had already established a photo studio within the VAA Graphic Arts Department in 1990. In 1994, this was replaced by the Image Studio, where Šeputis organized video arts courses for students of various concentrations. In 1997, the studio was reorganized into the Department of Photography and Media.
Around 1990, Šeputis created introspective imagery art, a kindred of photography, of slideshows, such as Ritmas (Rhythm) in 1989, Didžiosios maudynės (The Great Swim) in 1991, Minties forma (Form of Thought) in 1992, and Miręs laikas (Dead Time) in 1994; and also art involving spectators or participation in a live event: Diskomforto studijos skambant meditacinei muzikai (Studies in Discomfort Accompanied by Meditative Music) in 1990, Parafonija trims televizoriams ir violončelei (Paraphonia for Three Televisions and a Cello) based on music by Snieguolė Dikčiūtė, in 1992.
A video tape entitled Geriausi Liletuvos videomeno darbai (The Best Lithuanian Video Art Works), published by the SCCA in 1996, featured, alongside the works of Gulbinas and Šeputis, creations by the group "Akademinio pasiruošimo grupė", Karla Gruodis, Aleksas Andriuškevičius and Audrius Mickevičius.
Artists of the LIAA given greater popularity by the CAC and the SCCA (Deimantas Narkevičius, Evaldas Jansas, Gintaras Makarevičius, Eglė Rakauskaitė and Dainius Liškevičius) did not consider that what they were creating was video art. The filmed images in their works were just a part of the activity, process, research or installation. For them, filming (using cameras on loan from the CAC) or editing (in the CAC editing room) was merely one of several "disciplines" (the others being performance and body art, history and cultural anthropology). After 2000, some of them realized that works created with a video camera could not be divorced from documentary filmmaking and began producing full-length films and participating in international documentary film festivals.
The turn toward camera imagery in the creative work of contemporary artists was a rather sudden but logical progression, since their means of expression and their symbolic material had, until then, centered on realism and various elements and fragments of the physical world.
Deimantas Narkevičius had consistently been developing the theme of memory in his work, and began with an examination of the relics of everyday Soviet life that had been transformed into symbols of an era: a jammed table, chopped up chairs covered in plaster, crooked children's beds smothered in paraffin wax, closets with carved out but closed doors, or shoes filled with salt (although it is very unlikely the shoes were Soviet-made). In 1996, he displayed a living Pilies Street artist at the CAC, complete with all of his works for sale. One of Narkevičius' first films, Europa 54 54’ – 25 19’ (1997), documented a trip to the geographical center of Europe outside of Vilnius, a locale that clearly did not correspond to other cultural or political centers of the continent. Other films by this artist from the end of the 20th century combine visual aesthetics with the recording of history.
Gintaras Makarevičius created objects from wood and revolving mirrors with the hot flame of gas jets reflected in them. He began filming in 1997 at a creative arts center in Boswil, Switzerland. One of his first works in this medium was an installation entitled Žaibas (Lightening) that featured a church steeple illuminated by lightening and pauses of blinding darkness in between. Once having stood before the camera, he eventually turned the camera to film others.
Having begun with painting, Evaldas Jansas later displayed sharp inclusions created by bees in honeycombs, and also created objects, installations, performances and literature, such as Odė rutinai (Ode to the Routine) in 2000. His objects were threatening, made of broken bottles or shattered benches, and his installations were suspicious and unending collections of miscellaneous elements that always included something dangerous, illegal or inappropriate, for example the hemp plant in the CAC bathroom, live pigs or the unbearable smell of acetone permeating the clothes and brains of spectators: Viskas yra grybai (Everything Is Mushrooms), 1999, as part of the Butas (Apartment) project. There is little clear distinction in Jansas' work between the documentation of performances, video art, and essayist documentary films.
Eglė Rakauskaitė sewed a dress from dried jasmine blossoms and a fur coat from human hair, and covered her entire body in artificial hair, except for those places where her own natural hair was visible. Chocolate crucifixes expressed the artist's view of Catholicism, while a net made of human hair and suspended above a street in the Vilnius Old Town (Be kaltės kitiems. Tinklas (Without Guilt for Others. Net), 1995) echoed her view of the burden of remembering the Holocaust. An impressive living sculpture comprised of a net woven from the intertwined braids of a group of girls was documented in photography, while the artist's plunge into honey and lard was captured in video format. Shortly thereafter, she too turned the camera to film others.
The installation Ambulance (1995) by Dainius Liškevičius was comprised of plastic swans and candlesticks covered in real feathers, and his work Dievas – dvasinis žmogaus atrakcionas ​(God as Spiritual Human Entertainment, 1996) featured a green plastic sculpture of Christ and a cross covered in blazing light bulbs. In his film Restart (2000), he decided to portray the role of "his own double", climbing atop the Kaunas Castle Tower and photographing himself several hundred times standing on his head in various places around the world.
From the perspective of use of materials, the most impressive works created without a film camera were those produced at the end of the 20th century by Donatas Jankauskas. These were audio dubbed panoramic installations with gigantic three-dimensional apes or yetis made of foam, silicone or animal fur, placed in front of majestic backgrounds. The apes demonstrated aggressively on the balcony of the partially demolished Russian Theatre, while a woolly mammoth impressively charged from a building on Gediminas Avenue, and an ape lovingly stared with glassy eyes at a wooden image of the goddess Fortuna beached on a river bank. As part of a retrospective of the artist's work at the CAC, a giant bristly hand played the trunks of trees like strings: Miško muzika (Forest Music), based on motifs from paintings of M.K. Čiurlionis. During a conference on art theory held in Kaunas in 1999, Jankauskas entered the main meeting room with a wax figure resembling the famous contemporary art curator Raimundas Malašauskas, placing it in a chair in the room.


Write a comment
No comments.

Sources and links

100 šiuolaikinių Lietuvos dailininkų
Sudarytoja Raminta Jurėnaitė, Vilnius: R. Paknio leidykla, 2000
[[item.description]] [[item.details]]
You have subscribed successfully.
Patikrinkite savo pašto dėžutę ir paspauskite nat gautos nuorods norėdami patvirtinti užsakymą.