art 2002/2
TO CONTENTS
BACK

Jeroen de Rijke, Willem de Rooij. Bantar Gebangas. 2000, 35 mm filmas

Hendrikje Kühne, Beat Klein. Instaliacija Kitoks pasaulis. 2001, kartonas

Martha Colburn. Instaliacija Skele Hellavision. 2002

Martha Colburn. Instaliacija Skele Hellavision. 2002


Between Behind the Wall and the Center

by Laima Kreivytė

Is it possible to create an art event in Vilnius to become such a center of attraction as are Kassel’s Documenta or the biennial of Istanbul? The exhibition curated by Tobias Berger occupies all three halls of the Contemporary Art Center, the main venue exhibition in Vilnius, and three floors of the former printing house. It features around 60 artists from different countries. The exhibition is augmented by lectures and discussions taking place twice a week and educational tours.
The "Center of Attraction" is presented as the 8th international biennial of Baltic art, yet it is hardly useful to look for parallels with the Baltic art triennials of the Soviet times. It was the time when the official center - Moscow - meant the absolute power as well as its opposite - a black hole. Yet the centers that attracted lay to the opposite direction - abroad or "behind the wall". Yet after a decade since the fall of the real and symbolical Berlin Wall, the artists from Central and Eastern Europe rather focus on specific features and problems instead of tackling the dichotomy of socialism-capitalism.
The idea of center has been haunting Lithuanians for years and seems to be one of the greatest cultural myths. The multidirectional "Center of Attraction" sets out to overturn the decayed images of a unified center and demonstrates how pluralistic and relative they are. Today we see multiple centers, which join into ever changing structures.
Quite a number of the showcased installations analyze center as a complex system, incorporating governmental structures, urban surroundings, institutions of art and social medium of a large city with separate cultural epicenters.
Most large exhibitions generate critical thought. "Center of Attraction" does the same, stressing technological and virtual dimension instead of human aspect. The bodily dimension is intentionally excluded and replaced by representational masks, urban diagrams and virtual images.
The curator of the exhibition has identified several centers of attraction: trade, city, art centers, as well as their negatives - black holes. City block has received most interpretations: all ground level floor of the printing house feels like a merry-go-round (speed, traffic jams, racing, goods). It is the most dynamic segment of the show.
The certain merit of the exhibition is the deconstruction of the "center", which is important in the country living with the centric myth. Yet we have to wait and see whether art pilgrims will head towards a new center.

TO CONTENTS
BACK