interdisciplinary art programmes
July 7th, 1999

10: artist/body

tvvv.plotas_10: artist/body

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




The relationship with the body in post-soviet society is very complex. On one hand we have a situation of a non-sex existence in the public sphere, including education and media. There was no sex in the Soviet Union, just working relationships based on the equal rights between sexes. On the other hand propaganda oriented and figurative based social realism in art has developed a negative reaction to the body. The body has always been related to the monuments and manipulation, it has never actually been private property, as this was not legitimised. Nowadays we have a very controversial reaction to those monuments. Society has split in two. one side wants to blow up the monuments, in denial of the past and the other wants them to remain in order to be able to trace the past. What’s most bizarre is that former butchers and victims both want history to disappear as soon as possible. For the butcher it is the obstacle preventing him forgetting the name of the former party and for the victim it is an insulting fetish of the ruling class which sent half of population to Siberia. S&P Stanikai, two prominent Lithuanian artists represent those who come from a former ruling class family as their grandfather was sculpting most of the heroes of that time. Today the grandson is a contemporary artist with a very critical view of forming capitalism, although he enjoys the advantages gained from this, as well as those advantages borrowed from the past. S&P Stanikai, suggest a self-centred scheme for the scenario. The ride they take by car on the way to their studio is accompanied by the personal stories mixed with memories, reflections and commentaries on our society.

> Svajone & Paulius Stanikas /artists/Vilnius : We use so much of this, let’s say, sex, all these things, nudity.  Maybe its not even sex? But let’s call it nudity such a term. Or body, after all, since body is always related with nudity. Bodily implications. But you know how it all is? When you say eroticism in art. So there are all sorts of paradox. You see, our art, what we do, is for God’s sake, not about eroticism. We use it only as a means. We are not talking about bodily implications. We are making fun of ourselves or do something. Is the same as do a sculpture or paint, I mean use body as a means of work. So that I think using your self, you face your own body or something else, is the same as using clay. Use it as a means, pencil or rubber. Or brush because we use body only with these limits – dash.

I don’t think we are not modern. But the thing is,  we don’t use modern technologies.
I don’t think I’m not modern in art. I just don’t use these modern tools of art. But on the other hand I think the most modern tool today is a pencil. Maybe it’s a problem of our little country… Very often I don’t want to use computer – not because I’m stupid  and don’t understand, that this is modern. Same as these huge projects in which artists work according to a certain theme… Where everyone works for the same project. I think it is becoming totally obsolete. But not here. Here it will flourish after it becomes obsolete elsewhere.

… My father told me a story once, when he was young in their village a girl farted during the dancing and afterwards went and drowned herself in a small river. This was simply out of stress, and it happened when during Smetona’s presidency (before World War 2).
– Because she farted?
– Yes, because she farted, and she was ashamed, so she drowned herself. The same night. And I, for instance, if I fart, if it happens to me, I can convince my self that it’s not a big deal.
– But I’m from those who can drown themselves because of farting.
– Yes, he’s like that, but I think if it happened so to me after all, let it be, it’s natural.
– Healthy mentality.
– I don’t know if it’s healthy. It’s not healthy.
– Sure it is. I  think that girl did the right thing.
– He thinks she did the right thing, but in fact he speaks nonsense.
– Where will you put such a girl after that, anyway?


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