Climbing Invisible Structures. Ritualized Disciplinary Practices in Social Life (Part 1: Vilnius) at Underground Water Reservoir

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Artists: Tanya Busse, Victoria Durnak, Saulius Leonavičius & Vida Strasevičiūtė, Robertas Narkus, Kristin Tårnesvik 

Exhibition title: Climbing Invisible Structures. Ritualized Disciplinary Practices in Social Life (Part 1: Vilnius)

Organized by:  Nida Art Colony of Vilnius Academy of Arts

Venue: Underground Water Reservoir, Vilnius, Lithuania

Date:  April 29 – May 15, 2016

Photography: Andrej Vasilenko, all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Nida Art Colony of Vilnius Academy of Arts

The exhibition “Climbing Invisible Structures. Ritualised Disciplinary Practices in Social Life” will open on Friday 29 April, at 6 p.m., in an underground water reservoir (Liepkalnio St 20, Vilnius).  The exhibition is part of a two-year-long residency and exhibition project  between VAA Nida Art Colony and five other institutions in three countries: Iceland, Lithuania and Norway. Ten artists-in-residency created works for four exhibitions in Vilnius, Nida, Žeimiai (Lithuania) and Lillestrøm (Norway). This is the first exhibition of the project, which presents works of five contemporary artists from Lithuania and Norway and invites the viewers to see larger shows in other locations.

 There are at least two major ways of understanding the word discipline. In the first case, discipline means training people to obey rules or codes of behaviour. The second, indicates a branch of knowledge, like those studied in higher education, such as art, medicine or anthropology. The second implicates somehow the first. Learning entails the acquisition of knowledge and skills through experience and study. Teachings necessitate not only some kind of consent and submission to rules and conventions, to what is taught, but also trust and belief.

These are some of the invisible structures that shape our understanding and daily lives. In this exhibition we are looking at ritualized disciplinary practices that has become so intrinsic and pervasive that they have become invisible. But, they are still there, they didn’t completely disappear – we still have to climb them, in other words, to experience them and to feel them shape, produce and reproduce our behaviours and identities. However, it is important to keep in mind that these practices are not inherited immutable traditions. They are both agents of change and creativity.

The works in the exhibition point to a wide range of ritualized practices, connecting performances executed by people who lived ages ago, and whose activities can only be traced by means of archaeology, to contemporary rituals. Stretching from symbolic gesture familiar to everyone, such as binding a gift – a jewel with a promise of love, to art exhibitions such as biennales or visits to museums. These practices are questioned, interpreted, disrupted, modified and fictionalized. New understandings of past rituals are proposed, and directions for new ones are set up.

The works are installed in a space that once was a part of a new and ambitious project – a modern system of water supply, constructed in 1912-1916 in Vilnius. It was an invisible underground structure of the city that made a big impact on everyday lives of the citizens. However, over the time its meaning for the city has changed and after one hundred years it is used for a different activity, as an art venue, for the first time.

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Climbing Invisible Structures. Ritualized Disciplinary Practices in Social Life. Part 1: Vilnius, exhibition view, Underground Water Reservoir, Vilnius, 2016

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Saulius Leonavičius & Vida Strasevičiūtė, Fuck Language. The Costume of a Psychonaut, 2016

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Saulius Leonavičius & Vida Strasevičiūtė, Fuck Language. The Costume of a Psychonaut, 2016

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Saulius Leonavičius & Vida Strasevičiūtė, Fuck Language. The Costume of a Psychonaut, 2016

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Climbing Invisible Structures. Ritualized Disciplinary Practices in Social Life. Part 1: Vilnius, exhibition view, Underground Water Reservoir, Vilnius, 2016

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Robertas Narkus, Atlantic Biennale: Untold Saga, 2016

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Robertas Narkus, Atlantic Biennale: Untold Saga, 2016

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Climbing Invisible Structures. Ritualized Disciplinary Practices in Social Life. Part 1: Vilnius, exhibition view, Underground Water Reservoir, Vilnius, 2016

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Kristin Tårnesvik, Popular hour of death, 2016

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Kristin Tårnesvik, Popular hours of death. Memories kept in various liquid solution and Maker and materia, 2016

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Kristin Tårnesvik, Popular hours of death. Memories kept in various liquid solution, 2016

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Kristin Tårnesvik, Popular hour of death, 2016

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Kristin Tårnesvik, Popular hours of death. Circle of Abys, 2016

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Climbing Invisible Structures. Ritualized Disciplinary Practices in Social Life. Part 1: Vilnius, exhibition view, Underground Water Reservoir, Vilnius, 2016

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Victoria Durnak, Ex-boyfriend Jewellery, 2016

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Victoria Durnak, Ex-boyfriend Jewellery, 2016

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Tanya Busse, Sandgazer Radio, 2016

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Tanya Busse, Sandgazer Radio, 2016

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