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 worked 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 were 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 conceptually explored 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 simultaneously sought to connect with the forgotten sites, this way extending the potential of their life, and bringing the sites back out of their immobile 'past' state into the present, consequently introducing a new conceptual environment of cotemporal encounters, where past, present, and possible future can begin to coincide.
Using experiential art practice methods (interdisciplinary collaborative work was one of the chosen approaches), the residency artists scrutinised the potential issues of cotemporality in relation to the ever-permeating sonic echoes of the disused textile factories, whether through its immediate or historical presence, or 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 sonically immersed themselves in one of the chosen disused architectural sites, questioned its historical inescapabilty in relation to the present, and produced new art works as a result.
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.
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