Landscapes of longing 0

Tomas Pabedinskas, 2016-02-17
G. M. Kinčinaitytė's exhibition You belong to me at the Kaunas Photography Gallery

In brief: You belong to me is not an exhibition on Mars or sentimental human feelings. The obvious content of photographs and their provoking inexpressiveness, just like the metaphors involved in the text is only a way to form conceptual references that lead beyond the functional perception determined by the purpose of the photographs and the everyday approach to the world around us. 


Can the images that are not connected to our lives become the objects of melancholy? Such questions arise after visiting younger generation artist Geistė Marija Kinčinaitytė's exhibition You belong to me, presented at the Kaunas Photography Gallery. The author of the exhibition juxtaposes images of seemingly different nature and purpose - Icelandic landscapes, which she captured on film and the images of Mars captured by the NASA's robot that she borrowed from the internet.


Luci Eldridge says that, "Mars' photos are closely related to the romantic images of exploration that are typical of early travel photography. Such images aimed at conveying the reconstructed experience of looking at the exotic landscapes and newly discovered lands by making the unknown lands understandable and tangible." But in the exhibition, neither the photographs of Mars, nor Iceland are performing that common cognitive role, nor even seemingly does it bring us closer to the captured images.


Instead of geographical discoveries that cause romantic excitement and the conquest of cosmos that reminds of modern era's utopia G. M. Kinčinaitytė suggests exploring even the most distant reality as a continuation of your inner world. That is why even scientific photographs designed to convey information, in the context of the exhibition acquires an emotional content and looks melancholy. Dispassionate capturing of visual information in Mars photographs and Icelandic landscapes reminiscent of it force to feel the lack of human component present in the images. Texts accompanying the exhibition articulate the longing caused by it - Mars becomes a metaphor for the unattainable lover's body and the images sent by Mars rover - "cosmic postcards of love."


This allows the author of the exhibition to at least seemingly break free from the narrow perspective of human perception and ignore the viewers' expectations to recognize the expression of human feelings in the artwork, determined by the art development (for example, romanticism and expressionism). The images presented at the exhibition are emphatically non dramatic; they do not contain a narrative (not even an event that could work as a reference to it), neither a conflict.

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