Announcing artists participating in CREATurE 2017

Year 2017 here is more hectic than usual – with Kaunas having announced the pursuit of the European Capital of Culture 2022 title, and then being awarded it, a boost amongst the cultural operators is expected and the first things from under the wing of ECC 2022 are already coming to live. This is a great news for Kaunas, which in recent years has invested rather a lot into the growth of culture and arts, thus working on sustaining and evolving the permaculture of this city. Sure enough, all these developments give us, meaning CREATurE 2017, new thoughts about identities and change, but we stick to the idea that change is the only permanent thing in this universe.

Change and challenge, a global one, is one of the things that has inspired this year’s theme at CREATurE Live Art. How is performance art dealing with great challenges to the human existence, such as humiliating regimes of oppression, cynical destruction of culture and arts, denial of main liberties, such as freedom to move, freedom of speech, freedom of thought? What strategies in visual arts are applied once all of this is changed again – by a new state of thought, by a new political design, by a new regime, maybe the one of freedom? These and many surrounding questions are the ones that we are asking ourselves and other artists that have been working and living in Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Lithuania. So yes, this year it is very much about politics and the political, a body as an instrument of, again, resistance and reflection, and performance as a political act which is an equivalent of freedom of speech.

We are very happy to announce the following artists invited to present works in CREATurE 2017 (in a short while you’ll have more information about each of them in our Artists section)::

Andrey Kuzkin (RU)

Ani Zur (UA)

Arti Grabowski (PL)

Irina Lavrinovič & Asher Lev (LT / IL)

Janusz Bałdyga (PL)

Maria Kulikovska (UA)

Marta Bosowska (PL)

Mikhail Gulin (BY)

Olga Kroytor (RU)

Ramūnas Jaras (LT)

Waldemar Tatarczuk (PL)

Wolodymyr Topiy (UA)


Towards a Collaborative Approach

The fifth CREATurE Live Art, focused on collaboration, which happened in a short span of days in the mid-September 2016, was really something. We owe a massive thank you to all the participants of the festival – great artists and wonderful human beings. As well we owe one huge hug to our amazing team of volunteers – those hands that help make things happen.

This edition, as each in its own way, has taught us a lot about the art of giving, which is the basis of the collaborative approach. Yes, giving, as well as accepting the gifts, which is sometimes the more difficult of the two. And the biggest gift was that of the exchange between the artists participating and the attentive and present audience, that was sitting standing glancing from the outside in, aware and focused.

The interaction between the two persons on stage / in the gallery room / outdoors, through time, with materials, the exchange between the performers and the audience was of a very high intensity. Looking back at it, it’s no wonder that some of the audience were breaking into tears or laughter at any moment – that’s our mirror neurons at work.

What we questioned and tried to research in this edition and through the chosen concept has no real answer – a collaboration is an ongoing process of exchange and an ongoing investigation of boarders, tensions, intents of each involved in it. So there are several things we might call “outcomes” of what happened that one week in September, that we are extremely happy about and willing to share.

One of them is the Manifesto of Ethical Photography, a number of points about the collaboration between the photographer and the performance artist.

It’s been quite a while since the issue of the distortion of artist’s idea of the performance and it’s representation in the documentation of the work has been buggin’ us. Oftentimes the incongruence was due to the inconsistency between the work of the artist and the approach of the photographer. A performance of three hours cannot be documented by running into the room in the middle of actions and for merely five minutes. A performance cannot be documented by a person who is looking for an artsy shot which would become hers or his, that is, appropriated, instead of being representative of the work itself. A performance cannot be documented if the person documenting it is feeling an awkwardness watching the action. Of course, there are series of other issues, which we observed through the years in our personal practice and during CREATurE and other festivals, which, lastly, pushed us to try do something about it, at least for ourselves.

It seems that the workshop on the photography of the performance art, led by Manuel Vason, was the right time and space to address all of the aforementioned and more, and what the photoperformer and the group of photographers participating came up with, was this great Manifesto, which we gladly share with performance practitioners and photographers, in hope that it might lead to better documentation of the ephemeral. The image is important: once the here/now-ness of the performance piece is over, it is only the imprint in the heart/head of the performer and the audience, and this digital imprint that remains.

The text is written as an introduction to the performance photography exhibition in the public space (Laisvės ave, Kaunas, LT), featuring all performance artists that have participated in CLA2016, as documented by photographers that have participated in the workshop on performance photography. Full documentation of the performance pieces by workshop participants is accessible on CLA fb profile.

Fifth “CREATurE Live Art” is starting tomorrow

We are glad to finally announce that the festival “CREATurE Live Art”, international feast of performance and live art, is starting tomorrow, Friday the 16th of September!

Having all of the artist arrived, we are watching them take over the spaces of the gallery. Here the quiet preparation of Alastair Maclennan and Sandra Johnston is taking place, Joakim Stampe and Chuyia Chia are setting up in the neighbouring space, while Weeks & Whitford are counting red roses somewhere out in the city.

The upper floor is occupied by Kainulainen & Latva, while the French performance artists’ Barbara Friedman and Gilivanka Kedzior, the RED BIND duo, are exploring the still-green city of Kaunas to get the inspiration and the energy for both performances, on Saturday and Sunday. Hélène Lefebvre and Inga Galinytė, after intense preparations and try-outs of different materials, are out to take a fresh breath. In the meanwhile we’re welcoming Industrial Devolution artist(s), entering the space after a long trip in the car from Estonia and trying to trace at which point of their journey are Jasmin Schaitl and William “Bilwa” Costa.

The space is waiting for a new day to break, and for the events to start. The only sound now is the chatter of the performance photography workshop participants, led by Manuel Vason, working on a manifesto of ethical photography.

Each year this festival is an intense, varied, fruitful, lovely experience to our small team, and we are happy to work in order to make this exceptional event happen. This is a humbling experience, filling our lives to the maximum. We’re starting tomorrow, pop in to take part!

Love –