Andrius Pukis about injecting Kaunas with contemporary art 7

Interview by Jurga Tumasonytė, 2016-09-22

In brief: I met the sculptor, founder and a curator of POST gallery Andrius Pukis in Laisvės Avenue, when the strong August wind was whipping our hair. Gallery's three-year anniversary was only a couple of days away. "During those years we had so many different images, so we decided to leave the walls empty - instead of an exhibition - and fill the place with a lot of smoke," Andrius explained.

The artist said that the idea of curation and owning a gallery was born while he was still at school, when he joined Kaunas Art Gymnasium and took an interest in contemporary art and started visiting exhibitions and study sculpture, "After exploring the cultural life and cultural spaces of Kaunas they proved insufficient. The city does not have a contemporary art center. There is a lack of processes focusing on contemporary or future culture. Thus I wanted to contribute to the issue. That is how the Post gallery initiative was born,"

People who visit the Post gallery are always surprising, "Suddenly, more and more people of different ages started appearing - from a child of a few years to an elderly person, but mainly it is young people, students. Each exhibitions draws different people, it never happens that the place would be frequented by the same exact people."

For the first time visitor, the gallery located in the former sports club can remind of a space that could be easily confused with a place in any big city.

Andrius says that there is always enough work at the Post gallery and it is possible to work even more: write a variety of projects, make contacts with different countries and develop residence programs. For now, gallery affords to have only two posts - a director and a coordinator. Each year, survival depends on the projects that are won. Although this semester is better, because the gallery managed to win four projects, sometimes they have to work hard without compensation and cover the costs of organizing exhibitions from their own pockets.

The artist says he does not feel nostalgic about the places of the past in the city, "Just because I think Kaunas is doing better and better. The city is moving forward and it is no longer the same as it was ten or fifteen years ago. I am still too young to feel nostalgic about the places of the past. With all the respect for the history and interwar period, I am more interested in newly emerging or future places as well as new contemporary processes - this is my field of interest."

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