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2420 Ciurlionis
Curator: Valentinas Klimasauskas
V. 25 – VIII. 12
Artists: Arturas Bumšteinas, Antanas Dombrovskis, Laura Garbštienė, Juozas Laivys, Titas Silovas and Rokas Tarabilda, Stasys Bonifacius Ieva, Kęstutis Šapoka, PB8, Donatas Jankauskas, Saulius Leonavičius and Jurga Juodytė, Robertas Narkus, Milda Zabarauskaitė, Grupė Prostitutė

Exhibition Architect: Viktorija Makauskaitė
Designers: Jurgis Griškevičius, Lina Ozerkina
Curator: Valentinas Klimašauskas
On 25 May the CAC will become a channel, router, agency, receiver, broadcaster, etc. which will have a real time connection with an exhibition taking place on the asteroid called 2420 Čiurlionis. By using various conceptual, pseudo-documentary or clearly fictional methods, young Lithuanian artists are going to reconstruct the mythology of the Čiurlionis phenomenon, to re-establish the connections with the exhibition on an asteroid and the asteroid itself.

But let’s start from the start.
In 1913 on an expedition through the Arctic Ocean the painter Pinegin turned his attention to a plateau on the Franz Josef Land archipelago, which resembled the painting Stillness by Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis. Pinegin called this place the Čiurlionis Mountains.

In 1975 the Crimean astrophysicist Nikolaj Cernych discovered a new 8 km diameter asteroid that also reminded him of something or someone – he called it the Čiurlionis asteroid. By now there are many things that have the name of Čiurlionis including the peak in the Pamir Mountains, museums, schools, orchestras, galleries, roads and other things.

In 2007 many questions were raised during the press conference of the exhibition that was organised on the asteroid 2420 Čiurlionis. Here are just few of them:

Why does the exhibition have the same name as the asteroid? What does it mean to give a title to something? Does it mean to remix contexts and mythologies?

Is this true that contemporary art is always alien to the local context (as Raimundas Malašauskas once stated)?

If the exhibition at the CAC is going to be the channel / accelerator / traffic office / information centre / board of the advertisements and directions / connection / router / amplifier / speaker / agency / etc. what position should artists take then?

Donatas Jankauskas is not just the look-alike of Čiurlionis, he also uses the dribbling techniques of the basketball player to remix Čiurlionis albums. This time he created the t-shirts using the images of the painter and 'Ape planet' movie, in which humans regress and the ape progresses. Does the future mean regression or is the future a paradise of (techno) animalism?

Kęstutis Šapoka mixes the contexts of time and culture by presenting a script from the discussion in the Lithuanian Soviet Artists Union meeting in 1960s – the topic was whether to save or ban Čiurlionis’ oeuvre. Is the re-contextualising just one of the time machine’s options?

Has Juozas Laivys’ gesture of releasing the air (which he held inside his lungs while he read a text about the first ever Lithuanian art exhibition 100 years ago) the same connotations as it would have if the air was released in the airless space on the asteroid?

The exhibition on the asteroid raised real estate prices and forced the local artists to move out. What is the artists’ destination point now?

Čiurlionis created non-abstract plots in his paintings by using clouds and other ephemeral or symbolic substances. Saulius Leonavičius and Jurga Juodytė are doing just the opposite – they relocate the clouds into an urban landscape to create new informational vectors. Is there a possibility that the fog will turn into keywords' clouds?

The German composer and synesthesiac (a person who sees music in colours and an attribute of Čiurlionis) Karlheinz Stockhausen says that he came here from the satellite planet of Sirius, which is eight light years away. His piece Sirius is created to welcome arriving aliens from other civilisations. I wonder if the cocktail menu created after Stockhausen’s Studie II functions in the same way?

Paying attention to the fact that this exhibition is organised using nationalistic criteria (this is a Lithuanian young artists’ show), it may be true that this asteroid might be a new Lithuanian colony, the new version of the old dream by Kazys Pakštas to shift Lithuania to Madagascar? So, is the asteroid 2420 Čiurlionis the new utopian Madagascar in the age of space war and ecological catastrophe?

Is there a possibility that asteroid 2420 Čiurlionis is going to crash into the Earth? If so, who is going to save us from it? Bruce Willis? Again? What about Arnold Schwarzenegger who was caught by Laura Garbštienė as he was palming the roe? At least, Arnold knows how to use the time machine as he has used it so many times in the Terminator films.

Which Čiurlionis painting will resemble the Earth after the crash?

What is the possibility that after the crash the aliens would notice the Earth and would call it by the name Čiurlionis?

Let’s come back into the year 2007. The asteroid is flying further. It is clear that it’s not going to crash into the CAC, or Earth. The catastrophe will not take place (but the exhibition will). Most probably only the feeling of catastrophe will remain, but this is essential to balance consumerism (consumerism is always connected to optimism). There is no Schwarzenegger around as there is no need to save the planet.
The time (and context’s) machine is activated. The asteroid 2420 Čiurlionis continues its flight in orbit.




[1] The name of the asteroid which was discovered in the Creamean observatory by astrophysicist Nikolaj Černych in 1975. The asteroid orbits round the Sun in approximately four years (average distance from the Sun: 384 billions of km).
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