Vida Labanauskienė
www.kamane.lt, 2011-10-17

In brief: The 8th Textile Biennial has dressed Kaunas in textile art. Works of art, displayed in spaces of museums, galleries and the city, delight, amaze, amuse, educate and inspire. The richest display of the biennial is located at M. Žilinskas Art Gallery (12 Nepriklausomybės Sq.), where one can feel the pulse of contemporary textile, predict the future possibilities and sense the breath of the past.

The biennial presents more intriguing exhibitions in other museums and galleries.  The exhibition “Rewind Personal Story” at Kaunas Picture Gallery (16 K. Donelaičio St.) summoned renowned textile artists from all over the world. Visitors are met here by the work “Baba” of American artist of Ukrainian origin VALYA. Wrinkled Baba’s face, created in archaic technique of felt, is full of bitterness, sadness, forgiveness and love, characteristic to mothers.

“Red Cloth’s Movement” by Hiroko Watanabe speaks in subtle facture, complete form and expressive colour, as it is proper for the Japanese aesthetics.

The winner of Nordic Countries Textile Prize and Kaunas Biennial Silja Puranen (Finland) analyses the topic of physical peculiarity and oddity in the context of circus and freak show. The artist accommodates her characters on worn to thread carpets and ‘lends’ her own face to several of them.

The young artist from Taiwan Min-Tzu-Chao presents the stories of her family women through the patterns of wedding clothes. The pattern, as a map, reflects the social changes, political interventions and changing women status in the country in the period of several hundred years.

The surprise – this is the effect of an unusually colourful and large artwork by world-famous street artists Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo-Osgemeos (Brasil).

Vita Gelūnienė interprets the stylistics of Medieval Mille Fleur in her brand-new tapestry “The Hunt of the Unicorn”, that has been created for three years. Characters of this work of art are revived in a stylised video performance.

One should not miss a chance to see the films “Masked Ball” and “Odile and Odette” by one of the most famous British artists Yinka Shonibare. The first film was inspired by the 1792 assassination of the Swedish King Gustav III at a masked ball in Stockholm. In the “Odile and Odette” two ballerinas dancing in front of each other charm the spectator with the illusion of body and its reflection in the mirror.

Swedish artist Anika Ekdahl, who was presented at Kaunas Biennial with solo and group projects many times, this year involved textile students from Gothenburg University. Their works, revealing different variations of body as the theme, occupied the first floor of the gallery. Contemporary textile art is fused into image, structure and action in their works.

These are just several fragments from the big picture of the display. There are much more impressive and unexpected discoveries at the gallery that can be experienced till the 4th of December.

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