interdisciplinary art programmes
April 7th, 1999

04: artist/collaboration

tvvv.plotas_04: artist/collaboration

TV project / discussion / videoconference
broadcasted by LTV / April 7, 1999 / 10.30. p.m. CET




Who could argue for one of the core concepts of modernity about artistic genius. Therefore what could be more appealing than two people working together. Artist & collaboration is a contradiction in terms, because an artist is striving for a legitimation of his or her own particular uniqueness, whereas collaboration denies it. But we are used to seeing the mistakes of each other. On one side the West sees in Eastern Europe a picture of promise, but also a picture of total alienation, total decline – a disintegrated and dead society, while the East sees the West as low, barbarian, an uncivilised “garden of authenticity”. Eastern Europeans go to the West to check whether westerners are human, and all they see are robots, while West Europeans go to East Europe as if visiting a zoo, to see unique beings that once inhabited the whole planet (imagining, perhaps, two scenarios – either they all killed each other and the Planet was finally quite, or they suddenly stopped communicating). When an Eastern European goes to the West, they photograph themselves lost in the “rush hour” just to remember what instant societies look like, pushed into one corridor (and later showing their kids how they managed to survive, but never tried to run themselves), while Western Europeans photograph themselves near ruined houses (they will show to their kids omitting the fact that they arrived a long time after). They will both be brave, and that might be a happy ending. But shouldn’t there reside in between these two extremes a point where there is no ‘we’ and ‘they’.

Two Lithuanian poets Algimantas Lyva & Robertas Kundrotas are obsessed with contradictions and the search for borderlines. They are proposing a script  for a slam poetry piece to be shot in a major cemetery of  Vilnius. Taking a walk with a camera in “Rasos”, the main cemetery in Vilnius, they are engaged in a dialogue with themselves, their poetry, and the other world of the dead. Their stories and poetry navigates between the monuments and cultural graves, approaching the viewer with an open dialogue.

> Robertas Kundrotas/writer/poet/sound theorist/Vilnius : Do write like this:
Nonsense, Nonsense
No sense
Ale, Asphalt, Action

Soon they will start burying people with all equipment, with all computers and suitcases stuffed with bills, with cars, lovers. That is how we get back to our past. And grave for sure will be a real house with saunas and showers, with a greenhouse, well, practically no one will tell whether a human is dead or alive, no one will tell, since there are so many living dead. There won’t be any difference. There is actually no difference. The difference is only within the mind of the poet, while an ordinary man… even a dead man will be able to use internet, send and receive email:” I lay in peace, I’m doing fine, don’t worry”, and we send him a reply:” keep laying, we are doing fine, we don’t worry”.

> Raimundas Eimuntas /sonic artist/Kaunas : I think we have collaboration problems, because of our national Lithuanian character. It’s very introvert, very private, very closed off. Our parents, even some of us basically are from the villages. We lived all our lives in isolated farms, remote from the society.
Maybe that’s the reason why Lithuanians are more interested in their own ass and don’t care what’s going on outside.

> Robertas Kundrotas /writer/poet/sound theorist/Vilnius
> Algimantas Lyva /independent artist/poet/writer/Vilnius
Robertas: cooperation is like love. You can make love alone, but nobody is interested in that. The companion, partner is important. Important is the man who actually comprises the second half. In this way creativity is like love, creativity is like renunciation

Bank  banknote, bar  banknote,
bar  banknote, bank  bankrupt.
Verses like that can be born only when the poet, a creator, looks the other world straight into the eyes. Perhaps only cemetery can inspire a real poetic feeling, That untold sensation, that follows every work of art. Artist is a martyr, entrapped in life snare. And his creative work is the only weapon he has. Without creativity a creator has nothing to enjoy. He has no source of consolation. Creativity is everything. Poetry is everything. Stop.

Indifferent autopilot
pulled life’s problems
from rusty nails
and spread buttermilk
out in the sunshine

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