Giedrė Legotaitė
www.kamane.lt, 2011-12-15

… and I will be strong, I will be safe.

In brief: The Meno Parkas Gallery has presented the second part of the exhibition ‘Salon d’Automne’ – the performance of the young artist Vaida Tamoševičiūtė.  The performance is a component of the video ‘Armour’ that is being created by Daina Pupkevičiūtė. The idea was to invite viewers to watch the process of filming and creating the video work.

The duet created an aesthetical and purified spectacle in the gallery. An everyday activity – knitting – was represented as a form of meditation in terms of affecting viewers. A girl naked as a baby was sitting within white walls, in the circle of blue threads, indifferent towards the environment, ignoring the cold and tiredness (the performance took seven hours). Surrounded by sounds created by D. Pupkevičiūtė, she was knitting a scarf and transferring the viewers into a parallel world.

The performer as if settled in an incubator. Thanks to lighting and its purposeful usage in a sterile space of the process, the effect of isolation was achieved. The surroundings, delimited from the audience and other objects, let one focus on a monotonous act and the blueness of the needlework, highlighted by a white background.

Knitting is an archetypical act related to the cult of mother, reminding of those family women who knit for their children, grandchildren, husbands (‘beaus’), think  about all their beloved and put warm feelings, care and love into their work. Watching the artist executing the same act one could guess that she is thinking intensively about something strong, deep and important. This guess could be proved by occasionally appearing tears.

Gradually moving knitted threads ruined the ornamental circle that delimitated the artist from the surroundings. In order to create the scarf, that is perceived here as a protection, the boundaries must have been erased. Armour is needed in the field of a battle after all...

An important part of the performance was music created exclusively by D. Pupkevičiūtė.  Going down and getting stronger it sustained the tension and concentration, let one sink into contemplation. The sound was not just a passive background; it acted and its activeness was expressed through the empathy and distance of the viewers.

Consequently, Vaida Tamoševičiūtė knitted a tissue and wrapped herself into it at the end of the performance. It could be said that she vested in her strength and will (seven hours of intense work demanded that indeed), covered her frozen naked body. Knitting functioned as a protection against the cold (natural factor) and a veil against the eyes of people. A psychological sense of human vulnerability was achieved through physicality. Knitting or creating a protection is an intuitive aim of human beings. Creating a safe world for oneself and the beloved is a natural feeling that the artist interpreted in a form of a performance, where traditional armour was transformed not only into a material item but also a spiritual level.

Both artists have achieved a suggestive result in their collaboration. The visitors could observe and feel the created passage from the insecurity to a meditative safety. Now intrigued viewers can wait for a possibility to see the next phase of the work and the final result – the video ‘Armour’ by Diana Pupkevičiūtė.

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