art 2001/2

Mark Wallinger (Didžioji Britanija). Esu žmogus.
Marmuras, sakai, auksuotas medis, spygliuota viela. 1999

Šiaurės šalių pavilijonas. 2001

Sergej Šutov (Rusija). Instaliacija Vienuoliai. 2001

Sergej Šutov (Rusija). Instaliacija Vienuoliai. 2001

Leon Tarasewicz (Lenkija). Instaliacija Be pavadinimo.
Akrilas, tinkas, 800 x 800. 2000

The Venice Ferry

by Birutė Pankūnaitė

This year Lithuania took part in one of the most renowned forums of contemporary art – Venice Biennial – for the second time. In 1999 the committee of Lithuania’s participation in the Biennial (the project coordinator Lolita Jablonskienė) delegated Mindaugas Navakas and Eglė Rakauskaitė to the 48th Venice Biennial. The 49th Venice Biennial took place in June 8th – November 4th 2001. Lithuanian artists were selected by the Contemporary Art Centre (curator Jonas Valatkevičius). Deimantas Narkevičius with his works “Legend Coming True” (1999), “Lithuanian Energy” (2000) and “Festival-Failure” (2001) represented Lithuania. This presentation raised some doubts regarding the ways of selection of works to world exhibitions and lack of open competitions.

In the Venice Biennial of 2001 the duel between national pavilions and an international exhibition seems to have been won
by the national part of the Biennial, as the most interesting works were presented there. True, there are quite different opinions to this point: some critics assert that the Venice Biennial, having tried all means of work selection, has finally returned
to the “Olympic” principle, while others openly disdain the restrained activity of the national pavilions, overt political
games and manifestations of art tautology.
The 49th Venice Biennial with its rather boring form once again brought forth the sour questions of “the biennial culture”. Is it possible to actualize these giants ruling the art world in an attractive and interesting way (at the present time more than 40 biennials and triennials are held each year)? Is it possible to successfully curate such a large international group exhibition, in which you always choose the most attractive among several works, i.e. you unwillingly put artworks to an excessive competition? The whole always balances between “anything/everything” and the curator’s conception. Perhaps it is better to renounce biennials altogether and use the accumulated money and infrastructure for something entirely different, having nothing in common with the traditional means of art presentation?