art 2003/2
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Vladimiras Tarasovas. Instaliacija Šechina. 2003. Lietuvos aido galerija (2003 09 09–09 23)


Art Against Globalisation

by Arvydas Juozaitis

For a hundred years Lithuanians were used to the idea that the figure of an artist epitomises the national spirit. The after-war wave of soviet globalisation only reinforced the stature of an artist as a spokesman for the national ideals. There was no clash between the fundamental values and the intrinsic art values, therefore an individual man and the nation could coexist in harmony. Art was instrumental in resisting violence in a non-violent manner and stood for the nation’s passion to survive.
Yet after the explosion of freedom in 1988–1990, it is impossible to see a clear picture. Over the last 10 years art has become a business of professionals and a small circle of art consumers. At the same time, hundreds and thousands of hearts are being lost. Among many reasons, a key one is the acute infection of Postmodernism. It is foolish to claim that Postmodernism mirrors the situation of a modern man. An average – or normal man – is so alienated from his soul that he is scared even to look into it. The gap between man and his identity is a gap separating epochs. Postmodernism installs itself in this gap with its power of shock and its principle “anything goes”. Yet then everything becomes boring, and at this moment truth disappears. Artists in this situation have nothing else to do, but offer themselves for sale. Luckily, we have failed to create our brand name, which is what the West cares for most, and the capitalist market is already full.
If we defy the market philosophy of Postmodernism, we might be interesting and needed. Every artist depends on the soil which has nourished him, he transforms it in his art, but the original remains recognizable.
Lithuanian art has to take inspiration from Lithuanian literature, which is in a better situation today. Art and literature are the two citadels which we have to defend to the end, otherwise there is not much left for us to do.

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