As I was gondoling down the canals of Venice the other day, still a bit hungover from the Baltic Party the night before, making my way to another semi-vital art event, I couldn’t help but wonder: am I living in interesting times?
Let’s say that these times are a bit too interesting for my taste. I’d prefer a peaceful spring followed by a warm, placid summer where the biggest excitement was a pop-up thunderstorm. I want to lay down my overworked body onto a sand beach, the sun shining in my tired face, the sugar-free vegan pistachio ice cream slowly dripping onto my new bamboo bathing towel – 100% recyclable, by the way. But all we really get is ongoing droughts, melting ice (not the pistachio one) and rising sea levels – the climate is in crisis. And not only that, we are in a constant crisis of ignoring what is actually happening, due to our egocentric laziness, holding on to our comforts as the only thing we have in mind. Why not write an opera that sings about some of these things and call it ‘Sun & Sea’. Wait – they already did in the Lithuanian Pavilion? Ingenious! They deserve the Golden Lion! Wait – they already got it? Ok, well then – wow and big congratulations to Lina Lapelytė, Vaiva Grainytė and Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė. You are amazing. Did you know that the first solo exhibition of Lina Lapelytė, ‘Pirouette’ took place in Rupert in 2017. Check out their work in Venice!
For those of you currently in Vilnius, you should join the workshop ‘Letters for friends’ by our resident Herb Shellenberger, a joyful Warm Up for our upcoming Jonas Mekas show opening next month 20th of June at Rupert. We will have a look at the topics of diaries, letters and portraits as means of connecting people, and how they relate to both the films of Jonas Mekas and other artists as well. Participants will also create their own short works focusing on the connecting moment between people through their video diaries, video letters or video portraits. Check out the link for more information on the topic and registration. We are also very happy to welcome Victoria Ivanova for a talk on Wednesday the 22nd of May, in which she will explore the operational modality of infrastructural praxis in the field of art.
If you’re in Vilnius, feel free to join for these events, otherwise, follow my website, Facebook and Instagram for future updates and news.
And for now, let’s enjoy some ice cream in the sun.
Image: Opening of Lina Lapelytė’s exhibition ‘Pirouette’, 2017, photo by Andrej Vasilenko
Joshua Schwebel (Canada/Germany) is a Canadian conceptual artist currently based in Berlin. Through artistic interventions, his work de-centers institutional authority and makes visible power structures and hierarchies residing in the art system. While at Rupert, Joshua will be undertaking a research project into the status of amateur artists, and the defining characteristics that distinguish the professional from the amateur. This project will consider what actually distinguishes the two modes of practice, other than a declarative aspiration, external critical opinion, formal education, or entitlement.
Alexandra Symons Sutcliffe
Alexandra Symons Sutcliffe (Germany) is a curator and writer whose work focuses on performance and documentary. During her residency at Rupert she will develop the curatorial research project ‘private performances.’ Co-conceived with the Scotland based curator Cicely Farrer, ‘private performances’ is a commission led project focused on the private or occluded aspects of performance art. The project seeks to complicate the definition “live-ness” as an immediate experience, and ask what is at stake when expand the temporal conditions of performance art to include that which is not visible? While at Rupert, and working remotely with Farrer, Symons Sutcliffe will develop methodologies of display for the ‘private performances’ project for a future published programme.
Herb Shellenberger (USA/UK) – curator and writer originally from Philadelphia and based in London. He works between cinema and contemporary art, and is an Associate Lecturer at Central Saint Martins and has recently organized educational programs at LUX and Tate Modern. For his residency at Rupert, Herb Shellenberger will lead a project titled “Letters to Friends”. Anticipating Rupert’s major retrospective of Jonas Mekas in summer 2019, this workshop-based project will focus on Mekas’s writings and diary films, considering their epistolary form and intimate mode of address to the reader/viewer. Participants will develop their own short, epistolary writings, videos or other works, which will be featured in an online publication.