Rupert’s 10th anniversary! | Tails from the Fish of Fortune

With scales of amethyst and blue thistle that sparkle in the moonlit glow, swim the fish of fortune1. When the day’s warmth dips its fingers into the surrounding pools, creating a spiral, a fluid black hole, we keep swimming, flowing with the current and embracing being tangled in unexpected possibilities2. We find ourselves remembering the good company we are in3 with all other fluid beings, like the creatures in the Atlantic Ocean where the first alternative education programme participants discovered what knowledge exchange could be4. Breathing in unison and creating bubbles that echo around the world, between a Borgesian marvel of cartographic 1:1 precision and a patchwork map of mosses and matter that dot, cover, and intersperse the landscape of Vilnius10, we think of the plexus of beings we have met, experimented and worked with5—creative, constantly searching and critically questioning makers, thinkers and practitioners6

Our gills stretch above the wet surface and the fog’s fresh exhale tickles us, beckoning us towards the symphony of chirping swallows and abundant grasses along the banks. We hold the slippage and the unknown, teetering as though on a tightrope7 and yet recognising the wonder full transition towards this idea, place and practice taking root and expanding where we have previously been. Slowly, methodically, intentionally, our purpose in liquidity and our descent ever deepening into the ebb and flow of wisdom, we fold into the comforts of being a school. Institution, phenomenon, residence, home7 that unfolds through discussion8. We cherish the transitions between and among the group, the new directions that refresh our energies4, the rollercoaster of trust resting on the common ground of ambition10 that propels us forward and the existential shudders along the way. 

As night descends, we dream of what will come of water and mud. Whether it will be a self-propelled ferry running between the ‘Verkiai Palace’ and Valakampiai12, a raft constructed from waste13 or beer brewed according to the recipe of medieval monks14, everything just needs an impulse, an idea, patience and the support of like-minded people11. Perhaps a tunnel of ‘orientating, satiating, nourishing and intoxicating’ for the one who digs for purpose as Laure Prouvost experienced in 201515. Or perhaps, the resounding reverberations of the past welding with the present’s magic, the dust-covered clocks dangling from the ceiling of Lelija by rusty wires, inviting us to keep time together and embrace the bright futures ahead9.

Isabel Kuh and Rugilė Miliukaitė


1 Paraphrase of Yates Norton’s (Rupert public programme curator 2018–2020 and art historian) insight

2 Paraphrase of Julijonas Urbonas’ (former alternative education programme tutor, founder of Lithuanian Space Agency, artist and researcher) insight

3 Paraphrase of Augustas Serapinas’ (former alternative education programme tutor, artist) insight

4 Paraphrase of Darius Žakaitis’ (the founder of Rupert) insight

5 Paraphrase of Vitalija Jasaitė’s (Deputy director of Rupert 2017–2020) insight

6 Paraphrase of Kotryna Markevičiūtė’s (Rupert residency programme curator 2018–2020) insight

7 Paraphrase of Adomas Narkevičius’ (Rupert alternative education programme curator 2017–2019) insight

8 Paraphrase of Lolita Jablonskienė’s (a member of Rupert’s council, the director of the National Gallery of Art) insight

9 Paraphrase of Audrius Ambrasas’ (‘Tech Arts’ building’s architect) insight

10 Paraphrase of Anastasia Sosunova’s (former alternative education programme resident and artist) insight

11 Paraphrase of Justė Jonutytė’s (Rupert art programme manager and director 2013–2019, contemporary art expert, art historian and curator) insight

12 Referring to Justinas Dūdėnas’, Šarūnas Šlektavičius’, Donatas Stasiulis’ and Paulius Zaviša’s project Uperis (2014)—a ferry that was running on the Verkiai Palace to Valakampiai route

13 Referring to Augustas Serapinas’ raft made of recycled waste

14 Referring to Vytenis Burokas’ performed beer brewing 

15 Referring to Laure Prouvost’s artwork Burrow me (2015), curated by Justė Jonutytė with architects Ona Lozuraitytė and Petras Išora

Images: Bon Alog and Monika Jagusinskytė