The Contemporary Art Centre (CAC), Vilnius, is proud to announce the selection of Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas as artists representing Lithuania at the 52nd International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia. The project Villa Lituania, principally funded by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, is being organized by the Contemporary Art Centre and lead by CAC curator Simon Rees.
Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas have established an international reputation for their socially interactive and inter-disciplinary practice that engages with the fabric of everyday life, public social space, and even political space, focusing on issues relevant to Lithuania. Generally, their practice is comprised of collective activities—workshops, lectures, debates, television programs, Internet chat-rooms, and public protest actions—that form around a specific social space and a topical issue. The art outcome is often the documentary recording, in a range of media, of the activity: or the collective production of an art work. They also collaborate with experts in different fields of cultural production such as architecture, design, and fashion to produce objects or products that cross disciplinary boundaries. Urbonas’s work has evolved hand-in-hand with new media as they experiment with forms of ‘access’ that impacts upon public/audience reception of exhibition practices .
Recent international projects include: the Pro-test Lab Archive currently on show in “Monuments of our Discontent” a special-project for the Second Moscow Biennale; the ‘Archive was first displayed in “Fever Variations” the Gwangju Biennale 2006. The archive developed from the Pro-test Lab project commissioned for the multi-venue touring exhibition “Populism” 2005. Their Ruta Remake project (2003–05) evolved in exhibitions staged in Stuttgart, Oslo, Vienna, Berlin, and Vilnius. And Urbonas’s multi-platform work Transaction was exhibited in “Documenta XI” and “Manifesta 4” in 2002.
Villa Lituania in Rome is a building associated with the Lithuanian nation: it was the Embassy of the first independent Republic of Lithuania (1918–1940) to Italy. The Embassy operated in the Villa from 1933–1940 but became a possession of the USSR after the Soviet occupation of Lithuania. The keys to the property, which had been in safe keeping, were handed by Italian authorities to Soviet officials in step with the alliance of powers signaled by the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact (1939). Since the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1990–91 and the formation of the Republic of Lithuania the Villa has remained the property of Russia; operating as the Russian Consulate in Rome. It is considered the last occupied territory of Lithuania, and successive Lithuanian governments have lobbied internationally for its restitution.
Now two of the Lithuania’s leading artists are taking up its cause. Their approach—qua the anarchitects Acconci, Matta-Clark, and Smithson—belongs to the symbolical field and will unfold in Venice, Vilnius, and Rome in the coming months…
Launching soon: www.villalituania.lt/
52nd International Art Exhibition — La Biennale di Venezia
Artists: Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas
Project: Villa Lituania
Commissioner: Simon Rees
Venue (returning to): Ludoteca, Santa Maria Ausiliatrice, Castello 450, 30122 Venice
For more information contact:
Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius
Tel: +370 5 212 1954 Fax: +370 5 262 3954
Artists’ website: www.nugu.lt
caption imagen ::: Pro-test Lab Archive 2007, (installation view) 2nd Moscow Biennale, courtesy the artists
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