art 2004/2

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Darius Žiūra. Gustonių laikas. 2004, video, 120 min.

Darius Žiūra. Kelias. 2000, video, 90 min.

Darius Žiūra. Kolekcija. 2004, video, 8  min.

Darius Žiūra: Enquiry into Time  

by Ieva Dilytė

Darius Žiūra can still be associated with the young and emerging artists. On the other hand, he has already established himself on the local and neighbouring art scene. His video work mainly appears at the events with a strong social message, primarily, by the CAC in Vilnius. The video Gustoniai (2001) by Darius Žiūra was part of this year’s Lithuanian project, Others are Me. Social Instinct in Lithuanian Art, featured in 2004 in Krakow. It was subsequently on display at San Telmo monastery, part of the Manifesta 5 in Donostia-San Sebastian.
Most of his projects employ similar strategies and motifs: with minimal means, the artist explores the opportunities of non-verbal communication. The subject of his observation and exploration is mundane life and its routines.  For Žiūra, the human body or face is a source of symbolical meanings and a vehicle for communication. Gustoniai is series of video portraits of the people of the Gustoniai village. Different visual signs point to specific time and place. Each face, in its own way, mirrors social problems of the post-soviet era. The sense of loss, despair, fatigue marks each image. Time parameter is central to the film and serves as a link to other works by Žiūra, who pursues the agenda of building archives of subjective time. Video obscures the line between reality and fiction, which is further obliterated by a special technique. Most of his shots are perceived in real time, also he uses no editing. Yet his subjective viewpoint is there, as it determines the selection of people, motifs, time and place. Video liberates from manual work (Darius Žiūra used to draw portraits of his sitters), leaving just the essential about the portraiture, the relationship between the artist and his subject.


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