At this time of the year, we tend to believe something has ended and something new and unknown is beginning. The New Year encompasses a long tradition of transformation, which you can find as much in the pagan ritualistic ‘rebooting’ of time’s circular flow as in self-help guides and New Year resolutions. But how do we individually reboot eroding democracy, the looming (and confusing) prospect of Brexit, climate change and the resurgence of the far right not just in Europe but globally? How do we deal with our own narrative traps, our own ‘hedonic adaptation’. The idea of reinvention of oneself ad infinitum (familiar to us art world inhabitants, if I may) is not in vogue anymore. We should learn to accept things as they are, latest pop psychology literature tells us. But what about capitalism’s role in making everything so darn bothersome? What about the frustrating and polarising dialectics of ‘nature vs nurture’, ‘defeatism vs utopianism’ etc.? Can we just accept things as they are?
Alfred Adler held that we frequently cling to our problems, no matter how much we complain about them and claim we want to eradicate them, because overcoming them necessitates an encounter with change; and change is often something we fear.
I do hope for such said encounters in the 7th Alternative Education Programme. This year we will explore the changing role of artistic initiatives and institutions in a time of global political and ecological instability. This year’s Programme is aimed specifically at young curators and those working in creative and interdisciplinary fields, such as writers, art critics, theorists, journalists, art managers, founders of artistic initiatives and platforms, as well as artists and researchers from other fields. Crucial to this Programme is the embrace of failure, surprising directions, unexpected twists and turns. New encounters, not fearful, but necessary to develop our ideas and perspectives, to forge new connections.
I am further very excited to announce the launch of Rupert’s 5-year anniversary publication. Edited by Rupert’s team member, Yates Norton, the publication will include contributions from our team, past residents, Alternative Education Programme participants, and Rupert’s speakers, guests and tutors from the past five years. As much a homage to all those we have hosted as an important guide to contemporary arts and education, the publication is both a celebration and a resource. It is also a work of art in itself, designed by Vytautas Volbekas as series of interlocking folded sheets and featuring limited editions by Anastasia Sosunova, Garrett Nelson, Gerda Paliušytė, GIRLISONFIRE (Monika Janulevičiūtė and Antanas Lučiūnas), Jasmine Picôt Chapman, Naglis Kristijonas Zakaras ft. Random Heroes, Nina Kuttler, Rytis Urbanskas and Vytenis Burokas. We’ll keep you posted for our launch and celebration in Vilnius.
Finally, at the end of this month, the very first of Rupert’s artist-in-residence this year, Antanas Gerlikas, will open up his studio for a few days and invite everyone to have a look at his work-in-progress, a series of drawings titled ‘Prototypes of Dunes’. Come by to say hi to Antanas!
In the meantime, you can trick the flow of time and travel into the past through Rupert’s Youtube channel and check out all the great talks and incredible speakers we’ve hosted in 2018 as part of Rupert’s public events and the 6th Alternative Education programme.
Also, follow Rupert’s website, Facebook, Instagram and mailing list to find out about latest news and announcements.
Image: Performative lecture by Pakui Hardware at Rupert, December 2018. Photo by Evgenia Levin.
Antanas Gerlikas (Lithuania) main sources of inspiration is dreams, which offer forms, spaces and actions that are otherwise impossible to experience. One of the recent purpose of his practice is to have an immediate experience of skill, to recognise movements at the point of a change-defining shift, which happens when aesthetics become equal with an action; to further embrace the fondness to this decisive moment without having to practice within the spheres and disciplines commonly associated with the phenomenon of skill. At Rupert A. Gerlikas will continue his series of drawings titled “Prototypes of Dunes”
Eva Mustonen (Estonia) is an installation artist living and working in Tallinn. With a background in textile art and semiotics, her work is heavily influenced by handicraft and physical labor as means of expression. During her stay at RUPERT, Mustonen will work on a collection of humorous short-stories describing her creative process and everyday hassle of making art. Instead of actually making an art piece, the stories propose how the process would look like and what woes it might entail, listing possible outcomes as well as dead-ends. Realizing the ideas only in fiction, the descriptions themselves become the (written) artworks. The stories will be later made into a book.