art 2003/1
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Raphaėl Mognetti (Prancūzija).
Šokis su Zita.
2002, dažytas plienas, 250 x 400 x 130


Sculpture Zone in Kaunas

by Rasa Andriušytė

The idea. The site chosen for the project is an industrial area, framed by a busy street (Taikos Avenue in Kaunas), an industrial railway, and a hydrothermal plant. In recent years is has become home to offices and industrial facilities of numerous companies. The concept of the project was to mount original art pieces at this specific location, where people come only to work or bypass it on the way to more attractive parts of the town. Traditional decorative sculpture could hardly be expected to become a highlight of such a rough setting. “To adorn” the grounds, was not deemed as a sufficient task, sculptural objects were expected to introduce some organization into a monotonous and dreary space of industrial quarters. They had to stand in close relationship (contrasting or harmonious) with the specific qualities of the place. Thus the key idea was to create real signs of the place, works of art in situ, exploiting the specific location features through choice of materials and form.
Thirteen artists were invited to participate in the contest, six of them were selected, Mindaugas Navakas and Robertas Antinis were invited to participate as guests of honour.
Some Aftermath Thoughts. The expansion of arts into open areas, whether natural or thickly urbanized, has been taking place for several decades internationally. Landscapes and urban vistas have become a setting and “subject matter” for the work of the artists who have abandoned confined spaces of the galleries. Some might find it absurd to throw such costly works of art into suburbs. This “absurdity” is part of the concept. The heritage of the Soviet urban development – relentless unified surroundings – is a system of coordinates for these works. All the features of the place – noise, pollution, and erosion – are both subject matter of these works and an extension of their semantic field. Though sovereign artistic values of each piece will be discovered only at a closer inspection, even passers by will not fail to note the unusual contrast that this altered patch of the town strikes. It is also important that art cast on the fringes of the town gets another chance to become interesting outside its own circle.

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