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Open access

Mateusz Chaberski

Summary

The contemporary landscape of performing arts becomes more and more populated by hybrid genres or “artistic installations” (Rebentisch) which fuse traditional artistic, theatrical and performance practices with scientific procedures, political activism and designing new technologies (e.g. bioart, technoart, digital art and site-specific performance). In this context, theatre texts can no longer be perceived as autopoietic means of solely artistic expression but become part of an assemblage of different discourses and practices. As contemporary assemblage theory contends (DeLanda), assemblages are relational entities which change dramatically depending on relations between its different human and nonhuman elements and various contexts in which they function. Taking the contemporary installation art as a vantage point, this paper aims to analyse a Restoration comedy The Virtuoso (1676) by Thomas Shadwell in an assemblage of theatrical, scientific and political discourses and practices of Early Modern England. Staged in Dorset Gardens theatre in London, the play mobilised a plethora of discourses of science (the status of experimental philosophy institutionalized in 1660 as the Royal Society), politics (Restoration of the monarchy under Charles II) and gender (the infamous heac vir or effeminate man). Drawing on contemporary new materialism, the paper focuses predominantly on Shadwell’s use of the laboratory as a site of emerging assemblages rather than objective matters of fact. In this context, the play itself becomes an assemblage laboratory where new ways of thinking and being are being forged and constantly negotiated.

Open access

Neringa Stoškutė

Summary

This article aims to present the main aspects of the New Museology theory and discuss the possibilities of its adaptation in Lithuanian museum practice. To date, the New Museology theory, which was formed in the 1980’s and places the emphasis on the contextual presentation of artworks and the social role museums play in public cultural life, is not widely used in Lithuanian museum practice and a comprehensive survey of art museum permanent collection displays has not been carried out in regards to this particular framework. The first part of this article presents the New Museology theory and its historiography, including main authors, who have contributed to the formation and development of the ‘new’ theory. The second part presents an overview of different methods of display, including aesthetic, contextual/educational and white cube models. The third part shows how a recent establishment of the National Gallery of Art (NGA) in Lithuania completely ignored the New Museology theory and was based on the modernist view of art history, made popular in the Soviet period. Thus, it comes as no surprise, that the permanent collection display at the NGA has received a lot of criticism from various cultural and art historians and other academics. It is expected that the presentation of the main aspects of the New Museology theory and an assessment of a permanent collection display at the National Gallery of Art will help inform Lithuanian museum practice and form a basis for further studies in Lithuanian museological research.

Open access

Evaldas Vilkončius

Summary

In the history of Lithuanian architecture, the period of soviet modernism has made very problematical mark. The architectural and urbanist changes that were made in Lithuanian cities during this period are linked with the beginning and development of modern building practice. Many discussions causes the changes in the city centres that were made from the 1960s. New modern buildings that were built in the historic context changed its individuality and singularity. This article analyses architectural changes that were made from 1960s to1990s in the historic context of Vilnius and Panevėžys centres. The article suggests that during different decades of the soviet modernism period, the new architecture had a different approach to the historic context . To prove this suggestion, the article presents the most distinctive buildings that were built in the historic context of the selected city centres.

Open access

Irena Kossowska

Summary

This paper focuses attention on the reception of the exhibition “Deutsche Bildhauer der Gegenwart”, which was inaugurated on April 23rd, 1938 at the Institute of Art Propaganda in Warsaw - an institution whose exhibition hall was considered a venue of crucial importance to the cultural policy of the Polish state. The presentation was organized in the framework of a cultural exchange between Poland and Germany which was initiated by an exhibition of Polish contemporary art mounted in 1935 at the Preusischen Akademie der Kunste in Berlin. I will present the response of the Warsaw public to the presentation of contemporary German sculpture within the context of traditionalist ideology which was promulgated in Poland as much as across Europe in the decades between the two world wars. Drawing on traditionalism, which heralded a prevalence of national cultural values strongly anchored in the past, I will question the relevance of its rhetoric to the artistic phenomena evolving under political pressure. It seems intriguing to juxtapose the accounts provided by Polish and German authorities from the art world in an attempt to grasp the semantic content of such categories as “the genius of the race”, as reflected in the 1930s’ critical discourse. Moreover, in order to reflect upon the concept of propaganda art - another key notion of the time - it is worth considering the response of Polish commentators to official exhibitions of other nation-states held in Warsaw in the 1930s.

Open access

Gintarė Narauskaitė

Summary

Cruising can be defined as an activity where subjects look for sex in public spaces and is usually called cruising for sex. Authors like Humphrey and Delph emphasize that non-verbal communication, such as eye contact, body language, way of walking, etc., is used to make first contacts that eventually lead to sex. Despite the sexuality of cruising, authors like T. Dean or Turner note that besides public sex, cruising also defines a way of life or indicates a pastime. When discussing cruising, T. Dean emphasizes that contacts, superficial conversations and a playful relaxing atmosphere are characteristic to cruising. The context of cruising not only involves pleasing sexual impulses but also focuses on hospitality and friendliness towards strangers. It notes that this practise is used to establish contacts, engage in a meaningless conversation and start relations for the goal of pleasure, however the identity ego remains free. Furthermore, cruising for sex is often considered to be a negative activity for immoral behaviour in public and the risk to contract sexually transmitted diseases. Men who cruise often stigmatize themselves and assign deviational meanings to cruising. Contacts established while cruising as an open and an unregulated activity are managed entirely by pleasure produced by playfulness of randomness.

Open access

Yumiko Nunokawa

Summary

It is a well-known fact among Lithuanian scholars of studies on Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis (1875-1911) that Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971) once owned Čiurlionis’ painting Black Sun (or Ballad). However, it is known only by a reproduction printed in a Russian art magazine Аполлон [Apollon]1, with a title Conte fantastique and Сказка [Fairy Tale] and Stravinsky was specified as an owner of the painting and other details have not been well-researched. Even though some researchers visited St. Petersburg to find the painting several years ago, yet no trace was ever found. In this article, first we would like to look back at Čiurlionis’ visits to St. Petersburg and then, reveal new facts on concerts in which Čiurlionis’ music was performed and more over concerning Čiurlionis’ painting Black Sun how Stravinsky became interested in the painting by introducing letters exchanged between Stravinsky, Alexandre Benois and Andrey Rimsky-Korsakov.

Open access

Agnė Narušytė

Summary

The Cold War that shaped the societies of late modernity had penetrated everyday life with constant messages about the nuclear threat and demonstrations of military power. On the one hand, Soviet republics such as Lithuania were occupied by the enemy of Western democracies, and the nuclear threat would apply to their territory as well. On the other hand, many people secretly sided with the West. But information about the world behind the Iron Curtain was filtered ideologically. Images of Vietnam War and civil unrest in Western countries were broadcasted by the state controlled media as a counterpoint to the orderly and optimistic Soviet life idealised in chronicles and photographs. This positive image was shown to rest on the victory of the Great Patriotic War as well as October Revolution. Those events were represented by iconic monuments in the public space as well as by memorialization rituals taking place every half-year. Their visual documentation was an important part of Soviet culture. Photo journalists like Ilja Fišeris were assigned to record the parades of May the 1st, the 9th and November the 7th. Art photographers treated such images as a tribute to authorities exchanged for a measure of artistic freedom. But in the 1980s, the memorialization rituals, the monuments and other ideological signs became the focus of “rogue” art photographers and cinematographers: Artūras Barysas-Baras, Vytautas Balčytis, Vitas Luckus, Alfonsas Maldutis, Algirdas Šeškus, Remigijus Pačėsa and Gintaras Zinkevičius. Their ironic and reflective images worked as dislocating counter-memorials against the stale reconstructions of the past. Referring to theories of Svetlana Boym, Verónica Tello and Ariella Azoulay, the paper discusses the complicated relationships between the different memorializations of war, including the absence of the Holocaust in collective memory.

Open access

Vilma Mačianskaitė

Summary

By analysing the careers of internationally recognized artists from Lithuania and the relationship between Lithuanian contemporary artists and art galleries and museums, the author explores the challenges faced by today’s artists and hypothetically underlines the principles that could be useful for them in seeking to enter into the global art scene. The essay analyses the lack of cooperation between artists and galleries, and the representation of artists in Lithuanian museums, which is considered to be the base of a contemporary artist’s career. The essay assesses the influence of the main participants in the art market upon artists’ careers, by investigating the Lithuanian art market’s position after the restoration of independence in 1990. Twenty Lithuanian artists, major galleries or representatives of museums (such as the National Art Gallery and the MO Museum, formerly known as the Modern Art Centre) were interviewed for the purposes of this study. This examination of the Lithuanian art market reveals the peculiarities that artists have encountered, and could help international art market players to better understand the problems that the Lithuanian art market is facing. The author seeks to identify the main factors helping artists to navigate the global art scene and the global art market.

Open access

Gabija Surdokaitė-Vitienė and Adomas Vitas

Abstract

We present the application of dendrochronological dating of the renovation and construction works of churches in the Kaunas and Vilnius regions of Lithuania. The model for the estimation of the missing rings of Scots pine was used in Lithuania for the first time. We have assessed 18 timber cross-sections from nine churches, which were used for the constructions from the second half of the 17th to 19th c. The oldest wood samples were dated from St. Michael’s Church in Vilnius (1668±4) and St. George, the Martyr, (Bernardine) Church in Kaunas (1693±3). The aim of this study was to compare the results of the investigation of timber samples from 9 churches with archival sources and literature data and to reveal the renovation history of the buildings. The study of written historical sources has revealed a lack of recorded building and reconstruction phases of the churches. This fact was later confirmed by the results of dendrochronological dating. The dating of the timber revealed undocumented reconstruction dates in Zapyškis church (1791±3), St. George, the Martyr, (Bernardine) Church in Kaunas (1711±4), St. Anne Church in Skaruliai (1693±3) and Vilnius Cathedral (1814±4).