(About exhibition “Art + Art of Communication. Sound”) Justina Kučinskaitė, 1st year Master student of Art History and Criticism, VMU, 2008 11 07

A.Šlapikas. “Safe Cradle”

In brief: The art critic Violeta Jasevičiūtė, who organised an exhibition for the blind a couple of years ago, is experimenting with skills of senses again. The exhibition “Art + Art of Communication. Sound” was organised at Kaunas Picture gallery. Earlier exhibitions of the project dedicated to painting (2003), textile (2004), sculpture (2005) and photography (2007) arose interest of people as well. This time the curator of the exhibition combined various fields of art and interpreted the traditional understanding of visual art in an interesting way. Artists of various generations offer not only to see but also to hear art.

One of the most vivid features of the exhibition concept is the inter-discipline nature. According to V.Jasevičiūtė, “the exhibition is a kind of art therapy, an occasion for a visitor to get rid of respectful fear in regard to an artwork, to free one’s emotions, dip into the process of creation and break the strict rule of museums that exhibits should not be touched.”

Students Alvita Brazdylytė and Agnė Kondrotaitė, who denied this rule literally created an occasion to visitors to touch one of the most respectable painters M. K. Čiurlionis: the enlarged photograph of the painter is under a protective film which tempts viewers as kids to explode air bubbles.

The stone sculpture of Kęstutis Lanauskas of a ticking clock form is the most silent object of the exhibition. The ticking expresses the metaphorical idea of imprisoned time in the silent stone.

The work “Generations” of the textile artist Lina Jonikė is perhaps the most integral work, which corresponds to the theme of exhibition the best. The author expresses the unity of sound and communication by using a folk lullaby and video material projected on the surface of a huge pillow.

The majority of works presented in the exhibition are “friendly” – they may be tested, touched; therefore, the exhibition reminds of an amusement park slightly and is targeted at younger visitors more. If the playful type of the exhibition encourages the young generation to get interested in art, then, the educational programme will reach its aim.

Still, another issue became prominent in some exhibits – in some cases the relation of exhibits with the theme of sound is problematic, it seems that the development of the topic was started but was not solved finally. In many cases sound material is a separate element of an installation attached to one or another object, sometimes even an ungrounded annex (e.g. “Find” by Monika Stasiulionytė).

Some works create noise themselves, in other cases noise should be produced by a visitor. The third group of exhibits are silent and sound is left for imagination (paintings of Aušra Andziulytė) or created artificially. Such are works by Algimantas Šlapikas “Doors”, “Safe Cradle”. The latter work of the sculptor is very persuasive – the huge metal construction manipulates with experience of a human being. A question arises – why is this cradle safe?

Another persuasive work causing strong emotions is “Silenced Music” by A.Andziulytė. Keys taken out from a piano and hanging on the wall look like bowels of a live creature hanging there.

Thus, sound is interpreted in an original manner – on the level of content, form and plastic – in all works. The use of sound is not any novelty in art. The theory of synesthesia was considered some century ago, and contemporary art of installations utilises sound material more and more frequently. Still, view is not art as sound by itself is not music yet. What is inter-disciplinary art then? Colourful noise? In fact, noise interpreted in diverse ways finds its niche in the exhibition. The murmurous and pulsating atmosphere of the exhibition is full of it.

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