Curator: Sandra Kazlauskaite
“Cotemporal Encounters: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Sound, Memory and Place” - an interdisciplinary art residency programme, during which twelve emerging sound and visual art practitioners from European countries, including Lithuania, Italy, Croatia, Greece, Norway, and Denmark, came together to conceptually explore a number of disused architectural sites in Kaunas, Lithuania. Using the city’s unique architectural heritage (specifically focusing on disused textile factories) as the main source of inspiration, the participating artists have been working in groups producing collaborative sound and audiovisual installations as well as performances. Through unique conceptual encounters, they were encouraged to consider the notion of Cotemporality (a possibility of an extended time; coexistence of multiple temporalities within the present time) in relation to sound, memory, and place, as a theoretical discourse as well as practice.
The chosen disused buildings and sites could be perceived as resonating debris, echoing with their historical, political, and social narratives, hidden underneath the silences of the slowly disintegrating visual architectures. Built before or during the Soviet regime, the spaces reverberate with the chaotic political past; their temporal aural residues can be felt even today. Using sonics as a conceptual tool, the artists have conceptually exploited the city’s socio-political history embedded in the architectural leftovers. Whilst re-collecting and construing the potential histories and memories surrounding the buildings, the artists have simultaneously connected with the forgotten sites, in this way extending their possible duration, and bringing the sites back out of their immobile state into the present, consequently introducing a new conceptual environment of cotemporal encounters, where past, present, and possible future coincide.
Using experiential art practice methods (interdisciplinary collaborative work is one of the chosen approaches), the residency artists have been scrutinizing the proposed issue of Cotemporality in relation to the ever-permeating sonic echoes of the disused textile factories, whether through its immediate or historical presence, or the archive material. By connecting and juxtaposing different variations of temporality (the extended duration of the present, historical time, or the abstract possible time of the future), the participants have sonically immersed themselves in one of the chosen disused architectural sites, questioned its historical inescapabilty in relation to the present, and have been producing new art works as a result. Through the immediacy of the spaces, as well as the abstract and material residues surrounding the sites, the artists have been discovering and conceptually absorbing the forgotten spaces, this way reviving them back to the present using the art of sound and the audiovisual.
Using historical sites such as disused textile factories in Kaunas, Lithuania, the conceptual laboratory of the “Cotemporal Encounters: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Sound, Memory and Place” art residency programme explored the hybrid relationship between place, memory and sound as cotemporal in today’s art practice.
Participating Artists: Simona Muzzeddu (IT), Hrvoslava Brkušić (HR), Barbara Raad (HR), Valdemaras Manomaitis (LT), Yiorgis Sakellariou (GR), Steinar Yggeseeth (NO), Živilė Labutytė (LT), Paulius Rainys (LT), Bionics (Urtė Pakers ir Lina Pranaitytė, LT), Gintarė Minelgaitė (LT),Nikolaj Kynde (DK), Tadas Zaranka (LT).
Full curatorial text can be found at http://www.bienale.lt/2015/en/artist-residency-programme/ and the official Kaunas Biennial 2015 catalogue.
The Exhibition Opening Overview: