interdisciplinary art programmes
June 16th, 1999

09: artist/modernism & contemporary art

tvvv.plotas_09: artist/modernism & contemporary art

TV project / discussion / videoconference
broadcasted by LTV / June 16, 1999 / 10.30. p.m. CET




It was no secret in soviet times that the one who wants to posses power and control should take over information channels. That’s the case if you look at all the major cultural institutions in Lithuania. Instead of disseminating or decentralising culture, these structures are monopolising, and instead of creating an open society they are making a closed community. It is a soviet bureaucratic approach inherited by those people who belonged to the ruling class of the former system. Having been legitimised as specialists in the former time and after they had changed their “party colours”, they instantly became builders of the re-established independent state. The same model has penetrated all structures – from politics and economy, to education and culture.
Summer of 1999. A bus with 45 passengers, all from the establishment of arts & cultural politics is leaving for the Venice Biennial in the early morning. This is a great chance for the artist to meet them all and ask for the latest recommendations and expertise. It is cynical, but who knows what can happen. Who are these people, often invisible behind the crucial decisions in supervising the developments of culture. How would their opinions be challenged by the impacts of this major show? By questioning modernist notions of progress in a practice, we should take a risk and get suggestions of how to go on, just in case.

> Danute Zoviene /art critic/Daile/Vilnius : Oh dear, of course I expect a lot. Because, when six years ago I went to contemporary art exhibition in Finland, it feed me for a very long time. And I think it’s really necessary to see how we look like from outside, because this provincialism is very depressing.
And there we can probably see everything in one place…

> Gerardas Zalenas /ministry of foreign affairs/Lithuania : Oh, if only I could voice my opinion as other members of the committee (of Venice Biennale). I only know that Lithuania participates in it for the first time and this is a very important event in Lithuania’s cultural and even political life. It’s difficult to define what contemporary art is. Everybody is searching now. What is contemporary art?
It’s hard to say, everybody is looking for new quality today, lets say, like French impressionists… Now everyone is looking for… what contemporary art is. Because there’s so much of it, and it’s sort of…often not very acceptable. But everybody is looking for this contemporary art.

> Andrius Ventslova /media artist/vj/St. Peterburg : This is my first visit here in Venice and I’m pleased to see you. I’m glad to have come here, because for many years I’ve wished to see Venice Biennial. Due to certain reasons I couldn’t make it earlier. Though I knew, there was a show, the biggest and the oldest show in the world where you could see important and contemporary art.

Earlier, as far as I know in Venice, Russia was always represented by the artists having no relevance to the issues of our time. I don’t know the others, but I recall that one year he was like Ilya Glazunov for instance. I don’t think, that now I value them more.
But I, as a young artist I’m always interested in what young artists produce, and the latest art processes.  And such artists as Ilya Glazunov in my opinion are related with older generation, generation of my parents, whereas artists of my interest are the other people.

This is it. This year we have Sergey Africa representing Russia here. The very play of words that Russia is represented by Africa is funny. That’s why I decided to come to Venice to see his work. I haven’t met him here yet. Perhaps he’s meeting some important curators.

by admin | Posted in 09: modernism & c.a. | Comments Off on 09: artist/modernism & contemporary art |


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