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Driton Selmani: Prrallë

Driton Selmani’s single artwork exhibition Prrallë

On September 16, Driton Selmani, an artist from Kosovo, opens an exhibition at “apiece”, a showcase-style gallery whose strategy focuses on autonomic artistic expression. It is the first time this interdisciplinary artist will be presenting their work in Lithuania.

Selmani’s artistic practice uses a variety of media and means of expression, but text (the power of words) plays a particularly significant role. Through short maxims, the artist seeks to reveal not only new meanings but also new uncertainties. His textual works are witty and cover a wide range of topics, including politics, ecology, art, and philosophy.

Born and raised in the capital of Kosovo, the artist was inculcated from a young age the idea of worshipping a country that no longer exists, which led him to be sarcastic about any perceived truth and/or reality.

The title of the work presented in the gallery “apiece” is the Albanian word Prrallë, meaning fairy tale. As the sentence “You will become a song” gracefully revolves on its axis, it transforms into a totem of profound spiritual essence, infused with the captivating power of words and their rhythmic passage through time. The phrase becomes a mantra that does not, however, determine whether the transformation of our story into a song/fairytale is fate or inevitability. Contextually, the work also encodes the period of Lithuania’s Restoration of Independence and the so-called “singing revolution” marked by numerous demonstrations, rallies, and “Marches of Rock” in the country. For the Baltic States, the song became the main expression of peaceful revolution.

Song, like fairytales, is an essential part of cultural heritage and includes both preservation of unique traditions and the presentation of symbolism that resonates with human emotions and experiences. The oral aspect of performing songs or telling stories strengthens bonds and emphasizes the importance of preserving cultural narratives across generations. According to the artist, the work focuses on the idea of linking the inner perception of personal trajectories with the residues of modern society, at this critical point in human history. While re-contextualizing both the words and the meanings they have in different cultures, Selmani’s work sparks conversations about the complexities of contemporary life and the role of visual culture in shaping our perceptions and beliefs.

Driton Selmani graduated from Arts University Bournemouth (MA) in the UK.

He has exhibited at solo and group exhibitions at MAXXI Museum (Rome), Kunsthaus (Graz), MMSU  Rijeka’s Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Croatia), Ludwig Múzeum ( Budapest), Stacion Center For Contemporary Art in ( Pristina), Kunstraum Niederosterreich (Vienna), Casa Contemporanea (São Paulo), Mediterranea Biennial 16 (Ancona, Italy), U10 (Belgrade), 5th Marrakesh Biennial, Amsterdam Light Festival,  Fabbrica del Vapore (Milan, Italy), Bregenz Biennale 2018, Exchiesetta (Polignano a Mare, Italy), National Art Gallery (Tirana), La Maison des Arts (Brussels), Škuc Gallery (Ljubljana), MoCA Museum of Contemporary Art (Skopje), Kahan Art Space (Vienna & Budapest), and others. In 2022, his artwork Love Letters that has been ongoing since 2018 was presented at the MANIFESTA’16 biennial distinguished for its nomadic character and a focus on the dialogue between contemporary art and society.

Exhibition curators: Milena Černiakaitė and Aušra Trakšelytė

Communication: Menų Komunikacija

Design: Marek Voida

Exhibition funded by Lithuanian Council for Culture, Vilnius City Municipality

Exhibition open from September 16 to October 13 2023

Exhibition can be viewed 24/7

More about the artist: dritonselmani.com

Adomas Žudys: Nerves of non-time

On 5 August 2023, showcase gallery apiece, whose strategy centers around autonomous expression of artwork, opens an exhibition by Adomas Žudys. The artist abandons the traditional understanding of the exhibition space and splits it into two parts, an internal and an external one: these can also be said to be mutually navigable spatial and temporal systems. One part of the “system” consists of an oak root installed next to the gallery, which the artist himself dug up in his native Šiauliai region. It is a mass of roots from a tree that was struck by lightning several hundred years ago.

The viewers might associate these roots with currently much debated and outraged topic of cutting down healthy trees in cities. In addition to this issue, which unites people and brings them together into protest groups, the work also encodes another aspect, that of “returning to one’s roots”. However, rather than biological interactions, the artist himself is more interested in the contemporary environment constructed by our thinking and digital applications. Žudys does not question the biological, but rather the digital “systems of knowledge”.

According to the artist, it is “an attempt to understand a complicated world that is becoming incomprehensible, and to create a navigable knowledge system based on mythological, cybernetic, natural, as well as artificial artifacts. And since cybernetics and computers are an extension of the human nervous system, the root also functions as a “Sculpture of the Internet”.

At the gallery apiece, the artist presents a root fragment levitating in space, covered in gold dust, with a black box laid on the floor. The principle of displaying objects becomes the first step of alchemical work, as one gradually discovers the processes of negativity, decay, rotting and loss. This is linked to the attempt at representing that which resists representation, but it also enables creating arches of institutional value that unite the internal and external parts of the exhibition.

The title of the exhibition, which, according to Žudys, sounds ambiguous and somewhat comical, is an allusion to sculptor Philip Pavia’s essay Excavations in non-history (1959), which explores the interactions between nature, art and consciousness. The text prompted the artist to “dig into non-correct areas” thus creating an image of a “wooden” Internet: an extension of our nervous system. The connections of non-time in the exhibition can mean both a new eruption of an underground root as well as mental fatigue or the nervous burnout syndrome that we experience in an environment permeated with digitality and which leads to us (un)consciously trying to return to our “roots”.

Adomas Žudys (b. 1988) is an artist working at the intersection of digital and analogue media. In 2021 he graduated from Vilnius Academy of Arts with an MA in Photography and Media Studies, and actively participates in exhibitions and events dedicated to interdisciplinary art in Lithuania and abroad.

In 2017, the author was granted the status of art creator by the Republic of Lithuania.

Exhibition curators: Milena Černiakaitė and Aušra Trakšelytė

Exhibition communication: Menų Komunikacija

Graphic design: Marek Voida

Exhibition funded by Lithuanian Council for Culture

Exhibition open until September 13 2023

Exhibition can be viewed 24/7

More about the artist: www.zudys.lt

GALLERIES EXCHANGE PROGRAMME: Astrid Hjortdal and Maria Toll: The Observer (Portal to Everyday Life)

On July 2, Astrid Hjortdal and Maria Toll’s exhibition opens at “apiece”—a showcase-style gallery strategically focusing on autonomic artistic expression.

The exhibition is the second part of an exchange programme between galleries in different countries, initiated by apiece. The first result of such exchanges is the exhibition “Soap between fingers” by young Lithuanian artist Eglė Pilkauskaitė at “Galleri Toll” Stockholm.

We live side by side, but not together. Me, on the outer edges, either above or on the ground. At foot level, I get kicked at, but also fed. Or on top, on your windowsill or on a bronze sculpture. Looking out over all the landmass that has, over time, been replaced by construction works and facades. A glance through the letterbox or watching the neighbour on the balcony on the other side of the backyard. It is an ecosystem that is self-contained. I sit here, contemplating life and existence, bobbing my head back and forth to sharpen my vision, being let in and out through sliding doors at the train station. In and out of the café. I walk around eating cereal and leftover croissants. I look through all the windows as I fly by and think: I wish I was the one living there. Side by side with other strangers. Neighbours separated by layers of insulation, plaster walls and wood. We get close, but not too close. It’s important to know your boundaries.

Astrid Hjortdal and Maria Toll met in 2016, when they were studying fine art at Bergen Art Academy. They share the same interest in tactility and in creating narratives through sculpture and installation. Their work originates from daily discussions and thoughts about everyday life and the absurdity of living on this planet. Previous exhibitions of theirs as a duo include shows at Galerie Feiertag (Kassel, Germany) in 2022 and Afloat Contemporary (Bergen, Norway) in 2023.

Astrid Hjortdal (b. 1994, Denmark) lives and works in Oslo. Her individual work revolves around themes of narrative, perspective and scale, and using sculpture and texts to mix animals, humans and objects. She has also published a book entitled the function of the body is to carry your life.

Maria Toll (b. 1990, Sweden) lives and works in Stockholm. In her individual sculptural practice, she works with time and nostalgia and seeks to evoke individual remembrances connected to public spaces and food. She also runs the art vitrine “Galleri Toll” located in the Stockholm metro.

Exhibition curators: Milena Černiakaitė and Aušra Trakšelytė

Communication: Menų komunikacija

Graphic design: Marek Voida

The exhibition is funded by the Vilnius City Municipality and the Lithuanian Council for Culture, Office for Contemporary Art Norway.

The exhibition will be open until 5 August, 2023

and can be viewed 24/7

More about the artists:

astrid-hjortdal.com

mariatoll.com

Ieva Rižė: Prototype of Mental Protheses

On June 4, Ieva Rižė’s exhibition opens at apiece, a showcase-style gallery strategically focusing on autonomic artistic expression. The environment, energy and matter that surround the artist of the younger generation become in her creative practice somewhat dialectical, a fusion of an action and a counter-reaction that unfolds through time. Sometimes this time is marked by objects, artifacts of nature, or else paintings, drawings and costumes. As Ieva put it, “my work is accompanied by an entanglement among ideas, details and randomly found artifacts that are given meaning, a constant polishing of speculations and creative work through emerging materials that become a means to articulate (…)”.

“Prototype of Mental Prosthesis” creates a tension between the living and the inanimate, between the observer and the work. In general, the aspect of between – in the context of inanimate materials, life forms, people, objects that are not used (anymore), bodies and definitions themselves – becomes the axis of the installation, and the fact that it is inserted between the display windows of apiece gallery creates additional tension.

The work consists of two independently moving balls: these are kinetic objects, freely levitating in space and reacting to natural parameters such as temperature, air currents, etc. The artist likens them to a simplified consciousness and a way of exploring the performativity of objects by irritating the viewer’s imaginative impulses.

apiece: Ieva, could you comment on the title of the work?

Ieva Rižė: The title comes from my interest in the various prostheses and other accessories that improve or compensate for human functions. They improve, supplement and extend physiological capabilities. As I have recently been researching the topic of mental health, I am interested in “Madness studies”. So I was curious to fantasise about what a mental prosthesis could be and look like. In an abstract sense, I reckon all impactful artworks are a kind of mental prosthesis enabling us to empathise with realities that can be very different from ours. Then it was up to me to find my own form by objectifying the idea of a mental prosthesis. This time, the work “came about” later than its title.

apiece: Does the choice of the gallery and the fact that it is in a public space and accessible to a wide range of audiences broaden the meanings of the work?

Ieva Rižė: In my view, apiece gallery becomes a kind of incubator for this prototype of a “mental prosthesis”. Of course, people don’t have the possibility to experience being together with the objects, but I think that in this case this fact will stimulate the imagination even more.

Ieva Rižė currently lives and works in Vilnius. Since 2018, she has been studying at the Vilnius Academy of Arts’ Department of Sculpture (Master’s studies). She is currently researching the importance of visuality in the context of contemporary art. Since 2015, Butoh movement art along with the experiences and insights she gains through this practice have become an integral part of her work.

Exhibition curators: Milena Černiakaitė and Aušra Trakšelytė

Graphic Design: Marek Voida

Communication: Menų komunikacija

Exhibition is financed by the Vilnius City Council

Sponsor: Deimantas Stanevičius

Exhibition open until June 23 2023

Exhibition can be viewed 24/7

GALLERIES EXCHANGE PROGRAMME: Eglė Pilkauskaitė Soap Between Fingers, ‘Galleri Toll’ (Stockholm)

On 9 June 2023, a single artwork exhibition by Eglė Pilkauskaitė opens at showcase gallery “Galleri Toll“ in Stockholm. The exhibition is the first part of an exchange programme between galleries in different countries, initiated by apiece. Vilnius has a number of active non-profit and independent galleries and project spaces, but there is still a lack of international exchange. In this particular case, rather than exhibiting foreign artists, the programme has been conceived and dedicated for various non-profit galleries allowing them to come and hold their exhibitions. Along with organising an exhibition for the Lithuanian public, this also means encouraging the galleries to get to know the Lithuanian fine art scene in more detail, to establish a dialogue with other similar organisations and artists, and to get to know their work. apiece is planning for such exchanges with galleries of different European cities to take place at least once a year, and the first result of such exchanges in Vilnius is the “Galleri Toll“ exhibition at apiece, starting on 2 July 2023.

Egle Pilkauskaitė gives importance to the environment around her and the questioning of society’s norms of beauty, aesthetics and certain beliefs. In her works she uses craft-oriented materials, along with various technologies and methodologies. She focuses on the process itself, exploring different textures and finishes that she tries to reflect rather than imitate.

Soap Between Fingers is based on the still-widespread belief that women’s needs, especially those related to the body, belong to the private rather than public space. Not unlike lye soap, which is hidden away from guests in a cupboard or pantry and is only used in a domestic setting. Soap, which is the main material in this work, takes on the connotation of a personal ritual of removing emotional dirt. Maintaining an authentic and recognisable texture and a link to private space aims at evoking memories and personal experiences. The latter are not based on romanticised nostalgia, as is often the case when talking about the past. For post-Soviet countries, the material used in the work is reminiscent of deprivation, scarcity of goods and poor living standards.

The shape of the work evokes the symbolism of the ring: not only that of marriage, but also of repetition and continuous action. Taking into account the shape of the work and the display-like space of the gallery, the artist reconstructs the latter into a jewellery shop window, which is traditionally associated with luxury goods and imagery of a better, more beautiful life. This juxtaposition creates an inverse situation which showcases what happens to an object (a ring) when it is transferred from a representational environment to an everyday one, and when it is no longer a desired dream but becomes part of someone’s personal history.

E. Pilkauskaitė’s Soap Between Fingers, presented at “Galleri Toll“, is full of meanings and associations. It not only comments on the themes of privacy, (un)cleanliness and values, but also illustrates the situation of the soap stuck between the ring and the finger. In a figurative sense, it is also a visualisation of seeking personal perfection through the nurturing of one’s exterior, while the soap residue is reminiscent of dirt accumulated in the subconscious, or may also be a reflection of certain rituals, such as hand-washing, which is a reminder of the pandemic and its consequences that are only now being understood.

Eglė Pilkauskaitė is an interdisciplinary artist living and working in Vilnius. She graduated from Camberwell College of Arts, University of the Arts London in 2014 with a BA in Drawing. Since 2016 she has been actively participating in exhibitions and art projects in Lithuania and abroad.

More about artist: pilkauskaite.com

Gallery apiece is a showcase-style gallery dedicated to exhibitions of artworks of contemporary visual art and/or conceptual design.

More about apiece:  apiece.lt

Galleri Toll is a non-institutional showcase-style gallery located at „Ropsten“, the last metro stop on the eastern part of Stockholm’s mainland, in the inner Stockholm archipelago.

More about Galleri Toll:  galleritoll.com

Exhibition is open until August 20, 2023

Exhibition curators: Milena Černiakaitė and Aušra Trakšelytė

Graphic Design: Marek Voida

Exhibition is organised in collaboration with the Lithuanian Cultural Attaché in Sweden, Finland and Denmark.

Exhibition is supported by the Lithuanian Culture Institute and Vilnius City Council

Eglė Pilkauskaitė sculpture SOIL SURFACE #2

ABOUT

Soil Surface #2 sculpture is a sculpture in which the imprint of the soil is cast in concrete slabs. According to the artist, it aims to make sense of the value of (the) “earth” being turned into an exhibit, and of the issues relating to the Anthropocene, all the while highlighting the importance of man’s physical relationship with nature.

UNIQUE OBJECT

13000 

Soil-cast Concrete, Steel 

H 138 cm X W 92 X L 92 cm

Eglė Pilkauskaitė is an interdisciplinary artist living and working in Vilnius. She graduated from Camberwell College of Arts, University of the Arts London in 2014 with a BA in Drawing. Since 2016 she has been actively participating in exhibitions and art projects in Lithuania and abroad.

REQUEST

Remigijus Praspaliauskas Wall Carpet HOMAGE TO ČIURLIONIS

ABOUT

Contemporary Wall Carpet questioning the authority of the first emoji. Is it possible that the author of the first emoji – Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis?

This theory about the emoji of a smiling face is based on a single fragment of a drawing found in one of Čiurlionis‘ sketchbooks. The reconstruction of the drawn fragment into the contemporary artwork by R. Praspaliauskas invites to wonder, if the original emoji was some kind of “message” left by Čiurlionis to us – the generation of social networking. Or was it a painter’s vision of the future, where people communicate using emotion icons rather than words?

UNIQUE DESIGN OBJECT

7200 

100% acrylic yarn, wood backing

H 2200 cm X W 1400 cm

Remigijus Praspaliauskas – a lyrical Samogitian gangster – is an author of texts, objects, and products. His creative practices focus on the search for surrealism rooted in words and illogical verbal constructs of the Lithuanian language, as well as in the very nature of an image. Together with his twin brother Egidijus, Remigijus is behind the well-known Egyboy fashion brand dedicated to “shake that dull reality”.

REQUEST

Vladas Suncovas: Urban Delicacies

On April 7 V. Suncovas’ exhibition-research is opening at “apiece”, a showcase-style gallery strategically focusing on autonomic artistic expression. The exhibition presents various objects, fragments and models of conceptual design that have a specific function. Some of them are earlier unrealised ideas for public urban spaces, while others are new objects. These exhibits made available for viewers to consume and subjectively evaluate can be seen as alternative directions in creating identity for public spaces in Lithuania, and include details of children playgrounds, pieces of furniture, urban landscaping ideas, small-scale architecture and site-specific art, along with other urban elements. As the author of the exhibition himself puts it: “That which makes you smile doesn’t have to be silly; that which is childish doesn’t have to be straightforward; that which is patriotic isn’t always majestic – because it can all be both cosy and tasty”. So, one could likened the exhibition presented at “apiece” gallery to a menu at a new restaurant inviting viewers to enjoy the urban delicacies “freshly” prepared by V. Suncovas.

apiece: Vladas, were the associations of urban elements with delicacies dictated by form or aesthetics, and why did the works veer towards a dessert menu rather than a main course menu?

Vladas Suncovas: Actually, the work has both desserts and main courses. There are also other elements of a carefully set table: cutlery, napkins, toothpicks, spices, glasses, uninvited guests, produce gone bad, abandoned items and much more. I also use the word “delicacy” rather loosely, just to describe something that is exceptionally tasty. The tradition of serving tables in different themes is very old and exceptionally rich. Looking through my “fridge of ideas”, I realised that I have a lot of urban models, sketches and ideas related to food in one way or another. So I decided that it would be appropriate to exhibit these ideas by loosely interpreting the concept of a served table.

a.: Your works tend to be two different things at once, since one can easily recognise in them connections between, and methods of, different artistic movements, as well as associations having ambiguous purposes and imagery. Why is it important for you not to be “trapped” in the field of representational art alone?

V. S.: For starters, I think the answer is encoded in your question: since I make objects containing multiple meanings, they readily find their place in different contexts. When I think of an idea for a new project, I feel most comfortable when I don’t limit myself to a preconceived notion of where and for what purpose it will be realised. When I think of a gazebo shaped as a clementine peel, I experiment with the shape and materials, I let my imagination tun in all directions. Once I’ve reached a certain point, I realise that in order to develop it further, I need to move on to the second phase, which is preparing a specific project for specific clients, specific locations, etc. I would develop it one way as scenography, another way as an architectural pavilion for a public space and yet another way for a private space. Or else the idea could be best expressed as a painting, sculpture or short story.

Secondly, exhibition “Urban Delicacies” presents my initial ideas that haven’t yet reached their final shape. Some of them might be realised in the future, some will change shape as they get developed further and some other of these “dishes” are perfectly expressed as scale models.

a.: Artwork-research “Urban Delicacies” is based on creative reflection on Lithuanian public spaces and is presented at a one-piece showcase-style gallery located in a public space. Does the choice of the exhibiting space expand the meanings of the work?

V. S.: I’m very happy about the opportunity to present my ideas in this particular space. I do believe that „apiece“ gallery expands the understanding of the work and provides it with a specific context. Speaking of urban public space while being in this space constitutes a unique opportunity. I believe that exhibition “Urban Delicacies” will be viewed by people of different ages, social status and worldviews. This is especially important if we are to have a sane dialogue leading to changes.

Vladas Suncovas graduated from Vilnius Academy of Arts (BA) and the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (MA). He uses architecture, design and technology to create spaces and tools that they require. V. Suncovas develops his creative practice by making art in public spaces, scenography, exhibition design, small architecture, installations, experimental furniture and educational projects. His work is characterised by modular, deployable constructions, mechanical elements of engineering, parametric design, as well as transformation of space through conceptually based, often critical solutions.

Exhibition curators: Milena Černiakaitė and Aušra Trakšelytė

Graphic Design: Marek Voida

Communication: Menų Komunikacija

Exhibition funded by Lithuanian Council for Culture

Exhibition open from April 7 to May 31 2023

Exhibition can be viewed 24/7

Michael Mccready FOAM LAMP

ABOUT

The ‘‘Foam’’ lamp is the second installment in the ‘‘Foam to Dust’’ collection. It’s soft light is perfect for creating a spiritual atmosphere mimicking the warm glow of a candle. When the lamp is off the bulb embodies the idea of self reflection.

The ‘‘Foam’’ lamp is made with Aluminium Foam. This material is strong, light and corrosion resistant.

The foam structure of the material allows to create volume and texture using a much smaller percentage of raw aluminium.

The “Foam” lamp is designed not only to satisfy the technical and aesthetic expression but also with reducing material consumption and waste. Aluminium is a highly recyclable metal with a low melting point and 75% of all aluminium producing is still in circulation today.

Each ‘‘Foam’’ Lamp is crafted by hand in our workshop and may take between 4-6 weeks to produce.

Michael Mccready FOAM LAMP (Table)

ABOUT

The ‘‘Foam’’ lamp is the second installment in the ‘‘Foam to Dust’’ collection. It’s soft light is perfect for creating a spiritual atmosphere mimicking the warm glow of a candle. When the lamp is off the bulb embodies the idea of self reflection.

The ‘‘Foam’’ lamp is made with Aluminium Foam. This material is strong, light and corrosion resistant.

The foam structure of the material allows to create volume and texture using a much smaller percentage of raw aluminium.

The “Foam” lamp is designed not only to satisfy the technical and aesthetic expression but also with reducing material consumption and waste. Aluminium is a highly recyclable metal with a low melting point and 75% of all aluminium producing is still in circulation today.

Each ‘‘Foam’’ Lamp is crafted by hand in our workshop and may take between 4-6 weeks to produce.