Milda Kiaušaitė
www.kamane.lt, 2010-12-09

In brief: The photography exhibition of the photographer, film director, cameraman and traveller Juozas Kazlauskas “Juozas Kazlauskas. Photography” was opened at Kaunas Photography Gallery on the 7th of December. The photography album “Juozas Kazlauskas. Photography”  (Vilnius, Kęstutis Kazlauskas publishing-trade company, 2010) was presented. The exhibition will be open only until the 12th of December; therefore, one should hurry up to see it.

Paradoxical as it is, the creative heritage of the photographer and traveller, who has organised several dozens of one-man exhibitions and group exhibitions in Lithuania, Bulgaria, France, Mexico, USA, Germany, Yugoslavia, Georgia, Russia, was systemised only now. At the effort of Dalia Kazlauskienė and the photographer J.Kazlauskas Charity and Support Fund, the works were put into one book.

The photographer created his first cycles of photographs in the Arctic (“Along Northern Roads”, 1967-1975), remote corners of Russia (“Lithuania in Exile”, 1988-1989), in Chechnya (1994), Chernobyl (1977), he also registered the historical events in Lithuania.

The photographs of J.Kazlauskas are ambivalent. One the one hand, photographs created by the traveller are interesting by their authenticity: many captured views have vanished for good. Travellers of these days can no longer see the remains of barracks of the Siberia, and the area of Chernobyl devastated by the explosion of the nuclear power plant has changed a lot in 30 years. Therefore, these archives reveal new layers of history and geography to us. 

On another hand, the works of J.Kazlauskas differed from the traditional searches of Lithuanian school of photography. According to the art critic Agnė Narušytė, his works “do not stand out stylistically”; however, it would be hard not to notice the technical and creative individuality of the author.

The most important visual feature of views created by the traveller is soft tones and shades which reflect the coldness and severity of the Arctic as well as its nature. The photographer reveals the relation between the man and history, the man and nature by choosing persuasive objects, moments and themes, through subtle play of light and darkness.

The photographs created by J.Kazlauskas in Lithuania later prove that the strength of the author was his travels and movement ahead. His attempts to create portraits or to get closer to the classical Lithuanian photography show that the author loses his individuality and persuasion. These photographs seem to lack character of form and purity.

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