May 5, 2023 / May 24, 2023

Exhibition Permanent Crisis or Group Without a Name

There are many groups in the field of Lithuanian visual art, some are active, others are classified, others are latent, and some are coming back to life, as if some legendary rock band. It is even more strange when a group is reborn, united not by the name, but by other, much more interesting commonalities.

This is what happened with the "unification" of Vilmantas Marcinkevičius, Egmontas Bžeskas, Tadas Gutauskas and Audrius Gražys. For a cultural anthropologist, this would be a very interesting formation. All of these artists are united by ambitious multifaceted activities, the vigorous conquest of new territories of self-realization that appeared very early, a sudden career and ignoring the norms of the art field.

So why have all these organizational characteristics of the quartet not generated a permanent group name so far, why is this issue stuck in a state of permanent crisis? The answer is self-evident - one can be without a name even longer. A permanent crisis can be a guarantee of constant renewal both in personal creativity and in collective action. Now we see how this team's obvious application for group activity in the "Vartai" gallery in 1999 was reborn at last year's ArtVilnius fair with the same name, and today the quartet, not lacking in fun adventurism, ascribes to itself a state of permanent crisis and forces the audience to look for signs of such a crisis in the work of each of its participants. However, this is only a subtle flirtation, an effort to entice the viewer into a closer relationship, a desire to share not the intriguing twists of biographies, but the meanings of the work, the regularities of dynamic development, its content. This is where the four separate temporarily again and each artist, being in a common space, announces the autonomy, individuality of their works, the unique specificity of shapes and colors, strokes and messages - it shows what is born in a permanent crisis of creative solitude.

There is only one way out of it - to continue creating. -Virginijus Kinčinaitis