art 2002/2

Tarptautinė Frankfurto knygų mugė. Lietuvos paviljonas

Saulius Valius. Instaliacija "Istorijos puslapiai". 2002. Tarptautinė Frankfurto knygų mugė, Lietuvos paviljonas

Luck 2002

by Rima Povilionytė

Lithuania’s success at the International Frankfurt Book Fair has been covered and praised in almost every national periodical. It has been the highlight of Lithuania’s cultural events in 2002. Different visions of Lithuania’s participation stirred wide discussions, but despite opposition on specifics, everybody was unanimous in hoping for luck. Luck was late this time. Even the skeptics could see that it is possible to achieve the goals set.
The history of the book fair in Frankfurt goes back to the fifteenth century. In modern times the first fair took place in 1949. The event was gaining impetus: it developed, expanded and went through many transformations seeking to accommodate the needs of the professionals. Besides growing numbers of participants and visitors, it was responsive to new cultural ideas. Since 1988 the organizers launched the programme of Guest of Honour, which provides the country invited a chance to introduce national culture and literature to an international book fans community.
Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Frankfurt Book Fair has been facilitating the integration of the countries in Eastern and Central Europe into international book trade world.
Lithuania accepted the invitation to be Guest of Honour in 2002 with the motto "to be continued…" Besides introducing the wide spectrum of contemporary literature, Lithuania aspired to show its long and complex historical road and transformation into a modern country, and future direction towards European cultural context.
Saulius Valius and company "Expobalta" have been trusted with translating this message into a visual image.
The general view of Lithuania’s pavilion dominated by a light, almost ephemeral, (made of grey metal and transparent white paper) kinetic installation by S.Valius was one of the most frequently cited photographic press images. Many times Lithuanian pavilion was characterized as elegant and ingenious.
Two stands arranged at the entrance to the pavilion were dedicated to Lithuania and Vilnius. Enlarged visual symbols encapsulating separate themes sent a clear message to every viewer. Virtual pages (company "Gaumina") offered further reading on Lithuanian history and culture. Positioned centrally two screens showed faces of Lithuanian writers (a film by Liudvikas Jakimavičius and Gintaras Makarevičius).
Even such small things as paper "little rabbit" and "Pegasus" with Lithuanian and German words for different moods as well as table napkins with life-saving words in Lithuanian contributed to creating a friendly atmosphere.
The presence of Lithuanian culture was to be felt in every public place due to inventive advertising. Of accompanying events in Frankfurt, one should mention Lithuanian photography exhibition, exhibition of contemporary art, a programme of Lithuanian films and Kęstutis Kasparavičius’ illustrations show.
Lithuanian books, small catalogues and weighty albums, looked solid and tasteful even among the most sophisticated ideas of book "packaging". Lithuanian books were also exhibited on the stand of the World’s Most Beautiful Books.