Milda Kiaušaitė
www.kamane.lt, 2012-01-20

In brief: The number of publications presenting works of photography alternativists has increased over recent years. Several years ago Klaipėda remembered the Doooooris movement, revived archives of Raimundas Urbonas, Vilnius merged into the aesthetics of boredom and Kaunas presented a solid exhibition of Vitas Luckus. Finally, attention was drawn to the Section of Prey group. The album ‘Kaunas Avant-garde Photography: The Last Decade of the Soviet Period’ was published by Kaunas Department of Lithuanian Union of Photographers and Lithuanian Art Museum in 2011. Seven authors are presented in the album that is full of different styles, emotional charges, moods and techniques.

Photographs of Arūnas Kulikauskas are brave; he does not avoid non-photogenic objects, observes and records the surroundings instead of idealising it. The author does not manipulate the sentiments of viewers or distance of time. Beside original photographs, rather an unusual series ‘Breath of Misty Past (Palanga, 1939)’ by Kulikauskas is presented. These are photographs from archives of an anonymous family that are interpreted and coloured by the photographer. They induce thoughts about the difference between photography and reality, multi-variance of interpretations of a single photograph and the moment when an image starts to belong to someone.

Works of Gintautas Stulgaitis take us to the world of imagination. His style is very literary; many photographs resemble of faded images that are absolutely vague but at the same time summon sensations, intuition and the essence itself. Photographs of G. Stulgaitis as if glow from inside; the certainty of things and human beings, the constancy of form are put into the shade.

Reality of Gintaras Jaronis is different. A strong sense of change and threat is characteristic to his photographs. Foggy dreams of sallow night take one to a post-apocalyptic world, which has not found its face or name; the untitled world. An inevitable certainty of image creates a psychological tension here. It looks like clear and precise lines shiver, predicting an imminent menace. People from this reality do not have faces – perhaps they are afraid to breathe a poisonous air of anxiety.

After a tiny step one can find a simple and mundane reality of Visvaldas Dragūnas. It is also nameless but no name is needed for something so ordinary and obvious. Poor fragments of the everyday – a lock, a crooked knob, a chipped doorpost or a rough surface of a heater – could be related to memory. V. Dragūnas is interested in details, their uneven surfaces, crumbs that stick to the images taken from childhood, the sound of dropping paint and smell of heating radiators.

Photographs of Saulius Paukštys as if clatter with people. Using double exposure he relates them to things and houses that have their own habitants or ghosts. The photographer combines images bravely and provokes links in viewers’ minds while the variety of content determines the abundance of interpretations. The only thing is beyond debate: the world that hosts us now is actively lived, youthful, dynamic and beautifully crazy.

A similar vitality salutes a viewer in the works of Giedrius Liagas. There are no double images but the same colour palette creates the impression of consistency. The majority of his photographs look spontaneous, maybe even provocative.

Finally, a viewer is moved to the residence of light and darkness of Robertas Kanys. His approach is the closest to a classical one – it is even hard to call it rebellious or avant-garde. Sharp contrasts, monochrome image, chosen items and spaces create the impression of cinematography and sometimes refer to the stylistics of film noir.

Photographs that have waited for several decades are finally on stage. Let us hope that lights are starting to ignite and not fade away.

Read comments
Write your comment