press release

DRAGGING UP THE CITY is the prerogative of Vilnius Is Burning where an imaginary community of people can create the city itself.

Vilnius Is Burning is an exhibition and a live event that draws upon the legacy of the renowned drag queen subculture documentary “Paris Is Burning” (Jennie Livingston, 1990), and a variety of creative experiments coming from and via Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania and Baltxploitation. The flow of simultaneity, the collective cerebration of life, continuous slippage and creative misreading enliven the show. Like its namesake, the exhibition is not exactly about Vilnius nor is it about burning. The exhibition brings together Vilnius-based artists along with others living in San Juan, Brussels, Berlin and New York.

Multiple links to classical Conceptual art and Surrealism in Vilnius Is Burning merge with Punk culture, DIY sub-cults and anarchic contemplations. The identity of the show is as anamorphic as the works which inhabit it: poetic landscape photographs by Gintaras Didziapetris appear to be documentation of a concept while Concept (Lith. Konceptas) is in fact a village in Lithuania; The head of a wild boar looks not only back on its past as an aristocrat’s trophy but also forward at its future as a contemporary artwork by its adopted author Juozas Laivys. To make room for more ideas to float in the air, Laivys also releases air from the Lithuanian National Portrait Gallery, the Vienna airport and a show by Christian Frosi into the space. The exhibition further unravels while getting lost amidst the corridor of curtains comprised of several thousand Soviet-design-infected plastic lids by Oze. The curtains lead through the folds and breaks of the colorful life of Stasys Bani facijus, an eccentric who attempts to creatively survive not within the safety of the art context but in the everyday. The enigmatic young talents B.A.B.A compress their quirky and sharp vision into a single jpeg posted on the Internet, while Sandra Straukaite, a fashion designer, presents a conceptual line to be worn after the show. Liudvikas Buklys interrogates errors, mutations and misreadings; Duonis speaks through the silicon lips of Lupius while Pierre Bismuth and Jonathan Monk through “John Baldessari Sings Sol LeWitt in Lithuanian.” Una Szeemann and Bohdan Stehlik appear with a 30-second video “Paris Is Burning” as well as Melvin Moti accompanied by the ghost of Katie King who brings along a bag of butterflies of PB8 to share.

Vilnius Is Burning will also come to an end: On May 12, the stage of the show will be retroactively activated by a collective novel begun by Valentinas Klimasauskas and designed by Povilas Utovka, and performances and videos from PB8, Maestro Algirdas Stravinskas, CAC TV, Kristina Inciuraite, Egle Budvytyte (with Goda Budvytyte, Ieva Miseviciute, Kai Ting Lin, Sina Khani, Claus Eggers Sorensen, Skafte Aymo-Boot, Claudia Germaine Marie Doms, Mads Ludwigson) and the Vilnius Film Collective brought together by Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla.

Come over. The end of the show will be rather different from its beginning.

Curated by Raimundas Malasauskas.

Organized by Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo and the Lithuanian Institute, Vilnius Is Burning is a part of Lithuania’s participation as the Guest of Honour country in the Turin International Book Fair 2007. The Project is generously supported by the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture and Alenia Aeronautica.

only in german

Vilnius Is Burning
Kurator: Raimundas Malasauskas

mit B.A.B.A. , Stasys Banifacijus, Pierre Bismuth / Jonathan Monk, Egle Budvytytes, Liudvikas Buklys ,CAC TV , Gintaras Didziapetris, Duonis , Kristina Inciuraite, Juozas Laivys, Melvin Moti, Oze , PB8 , Sandra Straukaite, Maestro Algirdas Stravinskas, Una Szeemann, Bohdan Stehlik, Vilnius Film Collective / Allora & Calzadilla