Deimantas Narkevicius, Among the things we touched, Secession 2007
Deimantas Narkevičius, Among the things we touched, Secession 2007


In his films, Lithuanian artist Deimantas Narkevičius deals with the experience of collective—usually Eastern European—history. In the politically and culturally turbulent situation in Eastern European states since the 1990s, Narkevičius currently sees a vacuum in which ideological self-awareness is characterized neither by a reflection of one’s own history, nor by any kind of vision for the future. Narkevičius constructs (past and future) history out of active relations with individual biographies. In this way, the protagonists of his films reconstruct and interweave their memories with a linear concept of history generally accepted as true. Narkevičius explores the medium of film using a documentary approach, in which, for example, interviews heard as voices-off comment on photographs or drawings, and diverse film techniques and narrative styles are used simultaneously. At the Secession, Deimantas Narkevičius is showing four of his most recent films.


Deimantas Narkevicius, The Role of a Lifetime, 2003
Deimantas Narkevičius, The Role of a Lifetime, Filmstill, 2003


The Role of a Lifetime (10 min., 2003) brings together three different but interwoven elements: firstly, an interview with the controversial British filmmaker Peter Watkins recorded in Lithuania, where Watkins lived in self-imposed exile for several years; secondly, landscape drawings of Lithuania’s Gruto Park, where various socialist sculptures of the postwar era are kept; and thirdly, Narkevičius combines these elements with found footage by an amateur filmmaker showing everyday life in Brighton. In The Role of a Lifetime, the interview with Watkins on the sound level is joined and related to the drawings and the found footage on the visual level. While Watkins speaks programmatically of the relation between reality and fiction in his work, Narkevičius underlines the political nature of his words, partly by focusing on the broken remnants and their lost representative function, and partly by using found footage to question the representative value of the documentary approach per se.


Deimantas Narkevicius, Among the things we touched, Secession 2007
Deimantas Narkevičius, Among the things we touched, Secession 2007


Once in the XXth Century (8 min., 2004) shows the installation of a Lenin statue with an applauding audience on a public square in Vilnius. Using Lithuanian television footage that originally documented the dismantling of the Lenin monument in the 1990s, Deimantas Narkevičius edited a new film of the monument being erected. After the majority of the socialist monuments were removed at the end of the last century, either by spontaneous popular action or by the state, they now testify, as fleeting and dematerialized traces, to a collective but unfulfilled belief in an alternative society. In his video, Deimantas Narkevičius uses this “reversal of images” to bring the cult of personality and the public installation of ideological symbols, which have long since become history, into the present. In formal terms, Once in the XXth Century is an ironic commentary on the recurring scenes of ideological manifestations in various political epochs, and on the resulting iconoclasm as a radical measure of historical correction.


Deimantas Narkevicius, Once in the XX Century, 2004
Deimantas Narkevičius, Once in the XX Century, Filmstill, 2004


In Revisiting Solaris (18 min., 2007), Donatas Banionis, the lead actor from Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris (1972), appears once more, over forty years later, as the astronaut Chris Kelvin. Tarkovsky, who based the film on Stanislav Lem’s futuristic novel of the same name, left the last chapter out of his movie. This chapter tells how the astronaut sets foot on the surface of the planet Solaris shortly before ending his space mission. Narkevičius combines the story of the astronaut with a series of photographs made in 1905 by Mykalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis, a Lithuanian symbolist painter and composer.


Deimantas Narkevicius, Revisiting Solaris, 2007
Deimantas Narkevičius, Revisiting Solaris, Filmstill, 2007


Deimantas Narkevicius, Revisiting Solaris, 2007
Deimantas Narkevičius, Revisiting Solaris, Filmstill, 2007


Deimantas Narkevicius, Revisiting Solaris, 2007
Deimantas Narkevičius, Revisiting Solaris, Filmstill, 2007


In contrast to the futuristic concept of Revisiting Solaris, in Disappearance of a Tribe (10 Min., 2005), Narkevičius tells the life story of his dead father, assembled as a film consisting of private photographs. The pictures bear witness to a kind of communal life and experience which today appears to have been lost.


Deimantas Narkevicius, Among the things we touched, Secession 2007
Deimantas Narkevičius, Among the things we touched, Secession 2007


The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalog (German/English) with a text by Jennifer Allen.


Deimantas Narkevicius, Disappearance of a Tribe, 2005
Deimantas Narkevičius, Disappearance of a Tribe, Filmstill, 2005


DEIMANTAS NARKEVIČIUS, born 1964 in Utena (Lithuania), lives and works in Vilnius.
SOLO SHOWS (selection): 2006 Deimantas Narcevičius, Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Leipzig; Deimantas Narcevičius, gb agency, Paris; 2005 Once in the XX Century, Akademie der Künste, Berlin; 2004 Two Sculptures, CAC, Contemporary Art Center, Vilnius; Deimantas Narkevičius Screenings, Tate Modern, London / Roseum Contemporary Art Center, Malmö; Legend Coming True, Musée d’Art et Histoire du Judaisme, Paris; Deimantas Narcevičius, Galerie der Stadt Schwaz, Tyrol; 2003 The Role of a Lifetime, Art and Sacred Places, St. Peters Church, Brighton; Déplacements, ARC Musée d’Art Moderne de la ville de Paris, Paris; 2002 Deimantas Narkevičius Project, Kunstverein München, Munich; Deimantas Narcevičius, gb agency, Paris; 2001 Deimantas Narcevičius, Galerie Jan Mot, Brussels; Lithuanian Pavilion, 49th Biennale di Venezia, Venice; One day film and video screenings, Moderna Museet, Stockholm;
GROUP SHOWS (selection): 2006 Prospectif Cinéma, Film screening and discussion, Centre Pompidou, Paris; We all laughed at Christopher Columbus, Plattform Garanti, Istanbul; 7. Werkleitz Biennale, Werkleitz Biennale, Halle; Painting Ruins, Afghan Foundation, Kabul; 2005 Petites Compositions entre amis, Séquence 2, gb agency, Paris; Black Market Worlds, The 9th Baltic Triennial of International Art, CAC, Vilnius / Contemporary Museum, Riga / ICA, London; Do Not Interrupt Your Activities, Royal College of Art Galleries, London; 2004 Time and Again, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; 2003 Utopia Station, 50th Biennale di Venezia, Venice; Déplacements, ARC, Musée d’Art Moderne de la ville de Paris, Paris; Opening Show, Kölnischer Kunstverein – Die Brücke, Cologne; 2002 Mare Balticum, National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen; 2001 Ausgeträumt..., Secession, Vienna; Wonder World, Kleines Helmhaus, Zurich.


Deimantas Narkevicius, Disappearance of a Tribe, 2005
Deimantas Narkevičius, Disappearance of a Tribe, Filmstill, 2005


Installation shots: Pez Hejduk



The exhibition takes place with the kind support of: Sharp

The exhibitions are realized through support of:
Erste Bank – Partner of the Secession
Bundesministerium für Unterricht, Kunst und Kultur
Wien Kultur
Friends of the Secession



TOM BURR EXHIBITION PROGRAM 2007



For further information and photographic material please contact:
 
Karin Jaschke
Secession, Association of Visual Artists Vienna Secession
Friedrichstraße 12, 1010 Vienna
Tel: +43-1-5875307-21, Fax: +43-1-5875307-34
presse@secession.at