"Close Stranger" in Klaipeda
25.04 - 29.05.2014, 18:00-19:00
Included in: [Close Stranger]
"Close Stranger" in Klaipeda
The works presented in the exhibition are created while residing in Klaipeda (Lithuania), Gdansk (Poland) and Kaliningrad (Russia) by the artists of the three mentioned participating countries.
Thus the title suggests us that the artworks reflect the peculiarities of geographically close though not too familiar countries. These distinctions are revealed within the social, historical and variety of other events combined with personal experiences inspired by the sense of communion collected at the time of visits.
Polish artist A. Fojtuch remarks that an acquaintance with a Lithuanian or Russian gives a sense of a longtime friendship, though the encounters are not so frequent. The things that set us apart are also the things that unite us. Collective consciousness, – resumes the artist, in her performance pointing to the cartoon “Just you wait!” – one of the most popular soviet childhood icons of several generations. There she notes the symbiotic relationship of the big and strong with the small and weak.
Some of the topics explored in the works are taken from the casual and typical commonness of the particular region. Thus taken into the sight of the artist, this commonness becomes intensively silver-tongued. The “Close Stranger” mosaic is composed of the variety of sightings and stories, fusing the St. Johns church in Memel, the Prussian tradition of bridge builders, the shopping trips of Kaliningrad residents to Lithuania and Poland, the feeling of the lost Konigsberg, Lady Alexandra – the saleswoman of the souvenir kiosk at the Gdansk shipyard – decorating the gates of the ‘Solidarity’ movement cradle with live flowers.
In 2013, part of the month of May I spent in artists’ residence in Gdansk. You would ask – why? Because of the smart art centers of the three port cities merged for the united project. The details of this project do not interest me much. What really concern me are the ports and the seas with all the compounding elements. And yes, the contrabands and mermaids are counted – points out the participant of the exhibition M. Vosyliūtė in the report of the residence.
“And I was truly surprised by the accuracy of the exhibition title “Close Stranger”, describing our relationship. It would not have occurred to me that this path of minor 600 kilometers is so incredibly complex. If we would represent this way by drawing a line between two points, it would merely measure 200 kilometers, though reality shows that in no possible way this path could be straight” – states Polish artist A. Gogołkiewicz.
The common purpose of the “Close Stranger” project is to develop contemporary culture exchange and promote mutual understanding between the people of Gdansk (Poland), Kaliningrad (Russia) and Klaipeda (Lithuania). The project also involves the aim of facilitation of the trilateral exchange and the spread of the information on contemporary art, social and cultural issues among the territory of the project – Russia, Poland and Lithuania.
Opening: 25th April, 2014, 6.00 pm
Location: Klaipeda, 2 Didžioji Vandens st.
Organizers: The Baltic Branch of the National Centre for Contemporary Arts (Kaliningrad, Russia), The Centre for Contemporary Arts «Laznia» (Gdansk, Poland), Klaipeda Culture Communication Centre (Lithuania)
Curators: Ignas Kazakevicius (KCCC, Klaipeda), Irina Tchesnokova (BB NCCA, Kaliningrad), Agnieszka Wołodźko (CCA «Laznia», Gdansk)
Opening hours: 25th April – 29th May, 2014, 11:00-19:00, closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Financial support of the project: European Union, Lithuania-Poland-Russia ENPI Cross-border Cooperation Programme 2007-2013
The Lithuania-Poland-Russia European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument Cross-border Cooperation Programme 2007-2013 aims at promoting economic and social development on both sides of the EU-Russian border, addressing common challenges and problems, and promoting people to people cooperation. Under the Programme, legal non-profit entities from the Lithuanian and Polish border regions, and the entire Kaliningrad oblast implement joint projects co-financed by the EU and the Russian Federation.
The European Union is made up of 28 Member States who have decided to gradually link together their know-how, resources and destinies. Together, during a period of enlargement of 50 years, they have built a zone of stability, democracy and sustainable development whilst maintaining cultural diversity, tolerance and individual freedoms. The European Union is committed to sharing its achievements and its values with countries and peoples beyond its borders.
This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union under the Lithuania-Poland-Russia ENPI Cross-border Cooperation Programme 2007-2013. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of Baltic Branch of the National Centre for Contemporary Arts and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.