Soon after May Day, we’ve begun our summer with reflections on labour and nature. If the latter has been engaged in some floral displays to herald in the season here in Vilnius, then in Japan, scientists have been busy putting their cherry trees to work with a double shift of hanami to coincide, not with spring, but with autumn. Corporate industry has also put nature to work in the service of padding out cheap chocolate and stock cubes with palm oil, all with devastating consequences for the Indonesian rainforest.
But we need not give up the ghost in fighting to save our planet, campaigning for fair and humane labour conditions and supporting the marginalised and exploited. As the forthcoming Baltic Triennial will ask, what are our strategies of resistance to continued exploitation? During the Triennial hundreds of artists and curators along with the public will be visiting Vilnius to discuss and think through these ideas, finding alternative voices and languages to those who have long held exploitative power.
And so our own exploration of alternatives kicks off with further talks and workshops in our 6th Alternative Education Programme. Anna Gritz will still be giving her talk on fictionalised autobiographic experiences in feminist art and literature, with a particular focus on filmmaker Lynn Hershman Leeson. The exact dates will be published on our website and facebook. She will also deliver a workshop with the Programme’s participants on alter egos.
Fictions and alternative voices also find their expression in our current artist-in-residence Yan Xing, who, with Abri de Swardt will be showcasing their films at Rupert between the 10th and 14th of May. Xing uses fiction writing and fantastical backstories to construct compelling narratives and scenarios, and Abri’s practice is concerned with the difficult visibility and audibility of queer and Southern subjects.
So as Summer busily works away, if you have a free moment, come see the fruits of our artists’ labours and those of nature too at our pretty riverside spot. Right, enough punning on labour for now…
See you soon,
Image: Megan Plunkett, Me as a Dog, Who Hit John, Vilnius, 2018. Photographer: Tomas Lukšys.
Rubén Patiño (b. 1979, Catalonia) is an artist working in the field of electronic music, operating in a hybrid territory that incorporates elements of club culture and contemporary art. Most of Patiño’s work takes the form of time based proposals that incorporate sound light, video, text, ideograms and diverse materials. At Rupert, he will work on an audiovisual project based on the nocturnal experience of the forest while exploring the limits between natural and artificial. The residency is organised in collaboration with Hangar centre for arts in Barcelona.
Abri de Swardt
Abri de Swardt (b. 1988, South Africa) holds a MFA in Fine Art with distinction from Goldsmiths, University of London (2014). He is currently presenting a major solo exhibition, Ridder Thirst, at POOL in Johannesburg. At Rupert the artist will continue his engagement with queer and Southern subjects, through repurposing the orchestral pit in stage architecture as the site for underscoring context and action alike in the ‘dressing’ of scenes. In this project De Swardt seeks to deploy decolonial methods of evacuation to ask what an orchestra of the South might sound and look like.