The JMVAC commences its exhibition calendar with a solo exposition by Lithuanian photo and video artist Audronė Vaupšienė. Opening on Thursday 7 April at 18.00 and running until Saturday 14 May, “Three Stories” presents three new works examining contemporary Lithuanian social identity and its relationship to the past.
The three works explore the complicated relationship and role that the camera has with representations of memory and desire and its position between private and public realms.Exhumation (2010) is a series of re-photographs of the black-and-white photographic amulets that adorn headstones in cemeteries. The work plays against the relationship between photography and death, the tension between killing a moment and saving it forever, and the replacement of living memories by photographed memories. There is a long history of pictures depicting children, and prisoners. In both cases it is difficult to ascertain the amount of control the camera, and its master, are exerting over their relatively disempowered subject. One realizes that the boy is a partner in the photos and video inInstruction (2010) and that the exercises he performs are self-disciplining (a version of willing his mother back). Meanwhile, the eponymous Prisoner (2010) is so accustomed to visual control and loss of self that he takes every opportunity to mug for the camera. His deluded projection, like those of many photographed prisoners, proves his sense of loss and doubles it: he doesn’t want to be himself and is sure the camera is a deus ex machina.
Audronė Vaupšienė was involved with the group of artists who heralded the ‘contemporary’ nature of the Lithuanian arts developing in the newly independent 1990s. Vaupšienė participated in several exhibitions and off-site projects representative of those times though moved, like many colleagues, in her practice towards commercial aspects of image-making (a necessity in a country yet to develop an art market or extensive systems of private patronage and public funding). “Three Stories” represents a move back to the heart of contemporary art production and critical practice.
“Three Stories” is accompanied by a catalogue that photographically documents the work in the exhibition and includes a text by the artist reflecting on the work, and essays by the exhibition curator Simon Rees, and art historian and critic Agnė Narušytė renowned for her writing about Lithuanian photography. Narušytė will also give a floor-talk positioning the exhibition in the context of Lithuanian photographic practice. In April the JMVAC will host the renowned English photographic artist and critic David Campany who will deliver a lecture on the relationship between photography-and-the moving image that is the topic of his well known books Photography and Cinema (Reaktion Press, 2008) and The Cinematic (editor, Whitechapel/MIT Press, 2007).
To find out more about the artist, browse: www.audravau.com
“Three Stories” runs until Saturday 14 May, 2011