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)::
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.
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!
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One of the two CREATurEs, Vaida Tamoševičiūtė, has performed a strong white – and – red piece on Tuesday, and another one – Daina Pupkevičiūtė – is preparing for a performance on Sunday.
performance ‘liquid presences’ originates in the need to talk about the connection between people, each one being a universe themselves, through my personal journey – that of an artist and a human being, a physical and artistic one, the one of growth and experience, touching the past and the present timespaces. liquidity here becomes a way of experiencing the presence, which is scattered between the timespace of nostalgia, the mediated / online selves and the ever-changing present. by setting foot in three different locations, one of my childhood, one that has turned my life upside down, and one that i associate with what I am becoming, I am trying to meditate on how spaces and presences change us, what influence they have on relationship we have with ourselves, with the other and to the space, as well as to discuss the virtual v/s “real” presence, to explore the limitations of presence that are set by the mechanisms used to mediate the self.
first presence time : 2016 sept 4 / 18.30 local time / 16.30 (UTC + 00:00) location : confluence (santaka) / kaunas / lithuania / the town i was born in the first presence is taking place live in kaunas, is available for spectators on location and online globally
second presence time : 2016 sept 7 / 19.00 local time / 18.00 (UTC + 00:00) location : lungo po n.machiavelli (discesa via cesare balbo) / torino / italy / a place which opened a door the second presence is taking place in torino, italy and is available live for spectators on location and online for the visitors of the Bristol Biennial
third presence time : 2016 sept 9 / 19.00 local time location : the marina / bristol / united kingdom / a place of becoming the third presence is me being present in the physical sense in the Bristol Biennial, as compared to the two previous online presences, is available for spectators on location only
The performance is part of the Bristol Biennial 2016. The project is implemented through a collaboration of Bristol Biennial, Torino PERFORMANCE ART and CREATurE Live Art. The project is possible with the kind support from the Lithuanian Culture Council.
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While summer is nearing the end, one of the CREATurEs, Vaida Tamoševičiūtė, is preparing a performance “A.A.” for the 30th of August, that will take place at 17.00 in the VDU menu galerija 101 (Muitinės g. 7, Kaunas).
Performance will be a part of the exhibition series “Today Before Yesterday” („Šiandien prieš vakar“), which is organized as a commemoration of a Lithuanian painter Arūnas Vaitkūnas (1956-2005) and in order to celebrate twenty years of the Painting Studio (now – Department of Painting) in the Vilnius Academy of Arts Kaunas Department.
A. A. (Eng. R.i.P.)
I woke up at 4.00. This time has always been very special to me. A time when I was haunted by demons of inquietude or those of fear, thoughts of loss and bereavement. During those hours in between the night and day the gap between “there” and “here” would somehow grow narrower. An abyss would open or sometimes – a certain depth.
I lost many this year: my grandfather, a very close friend, the father of A. Since spring I am bearing the feelings of death and of birth, and all has become so near, so real and so fragile.
I am remembering Arūnas Vaitkūnas, may he rest in piece, the encounters that have changed my life. I am thinking of miraculous moments, of special places and exceptional people, about those meetings that happened to be our last, about kites, about fruit, about freedom and solitude.
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Let’s welcome the last weekend of summer with the last updates about the participants. From now on online information about two unique duos is available.
One of the two is the duo of a Man and a Machine from Estonia, Industrial Devolution. We are intrigued for various reasons, one of those being the fact that it’s going to be an industrial sound performance. We have known the Man part of the duo since the very first CREATurE Live Art, thus this is a second reason for being intrigued. Then there are plenty of others.
Same goes for the second duo we’re presenting today : Canadian / Lithuanian collaboration between Hélène Lefebvre and Inga Galinytė. CREATurE proposed them to try this collaboration which started some months ago online and will continue and take (live) form once they meet in Kaunas.
Line up being complete, we are preparing the schedule to let you all performance lovers prepare for your weekend-out-with-performance-art.
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The days of the festival are approaching fast, thus we’ll speeding up with the updates of the CREATurE Live Art.
Please welcome Katri Kainulainen and Maximilian Latva, Finnish (as in Finland, not to mix up with “finish”) performance artists. You’ve / We’ve met them before, although more than a year ago: they were participating in a “Winter CREATurE” event in 2015. What we remember of that night, was the intense word-less dialogue between the two artists, using the entire space of the POST gallery, leaving us intrigued, hurt, confused, raising many thoughts and questions to all that attended. Read more about them here.
We’re also happy to note that both workshops – collaboration in performance (by Sandra Johnston and Alastair Maclennan) as well as performance photography (by Manuel Vason) – are nearly filled, just a couple of places remaining. If still interested – please do not hesitate to check out the workshop page.
Finally, the schedule is being put together and you’ll be able to plan your three days at the festival in no time.
It’s merely a month left till CREATurE Live Art! Let us introduce you to a couple of Swedish performers Joakim Stampe and Chuyia Chia. They’ve pretty much travelled the whole world in these last several years, creating astonishing work in the streets and galleries, parks and pavements in near and far places – setting foot pretty much everywhere in Europe, and extending their horizons to other continents.
Joakim Stampe has visited Kaunas and performed in CREATurE Live Art 2013, in the crumbling halls of former shoe factory, then used as an exhibition and studio space, called Fluxus Ministerija. He has also given a workshop in the streets of the old town, introducing fellow artists and unaware citizens to water-painting in water, and, eventually, beer. Those curious are invited to check the verity of this fact in the photo gallery here.
We’ve been following the work of Chuyia Chia for quite a while, mesmerized by her intense works, engaged and engaging, reflecting the state of the world and silently raising awareness of those participating.
Read more about both of the performance artists and the concept they’re working around for their performance in CREATurE here.
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CREATurE is starting a new week with the presentation of one more duo: Jasmin Schaitl and William “Bilwa” Costa. Jasmin came to our attention in 2012 while CREATurE duo was performing in a performance art event in Tallinn (Estonia), in a factory formerly occupied by the Art Container collective. Given that in the last couple of years Jasmin is collaborating with “Bilwa”, it is a pleasure to be able to invite them for the upcoming CREATurE event, dedicated to collaborations.
A reminder to all interested but hesitant to apply for the performance or performance photography workshops, led respectively by Sandra Johnston and Alastair MacLennan and Manuel Vason: there still are places available, be sure not to miss out on the possibility!
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Performance art duo [RED BIND] from Toulouse, France, has been in CREATurE’s focus for quite some time now: their videos were in the video program of the festival in 2013. Thus it is a great pleasure to be able to present this amazing duo in the festival edition 2016 live for two performances: one in the gallery, and the other – in public space in the city of Kaunas. Exact spot of the performance in public space will be indicated at a later time, stay tuned.
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