(International exhibition of contemporary art “Ultima Ratio” at the gallery Meno Parkas) Kotryna Džilavjanaitė, 2006 12 23

Arvydas Brazdžiūnas - Dusė "Dust".

Eimutis Markūnas "Intervention".

Julija Pociūtė "Huzefakaju?"

Laisvydė Šalčiūtė "Code"

Juozas Laivys "Cut Feather"

Giedrė Kriaučionytė "In memoriam Lt"

Kai Ruohonen "The Last Pedestal For Men". Photos by Kotryna Džilavjanaitė

In brief: As the year is coming to an end, the gallery Meno Parkas presents the last important event of art of 2006 – the exhibition “Ultima Ratio”, the seventh event of the continuous international project “Art Today”, which reflects not only symptoms of contemporary art but also the amazing tolerance of the selection committee members.


The indication of the exhibition to give importance to creative material is interesting, inviting for a dialogue but also dangerous. Many authors did not evaluate the task – untraditional techniques and materials are not values by themselves, they are only the starting point for further development of mind. Unusual materials do attract the eye; however, only original and actual content, unexpected context is able to melt their silent formalism. The exhibition does present some manifestations of more original thinking but there are also many tasteless ideas and banal objects.


The exposition testifies that present-day artists are still deep in their intimate dramas, autobiography, history of their family. Valentinas Antanavičius (“Remembering Burial of Uncle Jonas“) and Eimutis Markūnas (“Intervention”) manage to free from the trap set to themselves. Exhibiting very personal photographs, they render universal meanings – natural pain, the vulnerability of physical body, death. Meanwhile, old family photographs (Virginija Venckūnienė “Dialogues – Generations”), inherited things (Gražina Vingrienė “Always with Me”) are important only to inheritors themselves.


Participants of the exhibition speak in concrete, tar, bread, bones, skin, wax, which have already been used many times in the Lithuanian contemporary art. Still, some authors succeeded to re-think their meanings. The spirit of Elena Balsiukaitė-Brazdžiūnienė’s mythical woman preserves the stories of bones (“La Loba / Guardian”), and the symbolic power of Jovita Aukštikalnytė’s modelled bread reveals aesthetical values (“Coming into Bloom”).


Attempts to find new means for embodiment of thought are impressive. Julija Pociūtė melts painted stories into glass (“Huzefakaju?“). Kai Ruohonen disarms male pathos by female attribute – forms of ginger cakes (“Last Pedestal for Men”).


Still, it is evident that Meno Parkas did not resist the temptation of mass exhibition this time. Quantity does not equal to quality, some works of foreign artists are not of the highest artistic value as well. Meno Parkas gallery does not have to prove its activity and potential. Perhaps only the lack of integrity and too forgiving interpretation of creative works causes some doubts.

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