Pawel_Althamer | Michael_Asher | Nairy_Baghramian | Guy_Ben-Ner | Guillaume_Bijl | Martin_Boyce | Jeremy Deller | Michael_Elmgreen und Ingar_Dragset | Hans-Peter_Feldmann | Dora_Garcia |
Isa_Genzken | Dominique_Gonzalez-Foerster | Tue_Greenfort | David_Hammons | Valérie_Jouve | Mike_Kelley | Suchan Kinoshita | Marko_Lehanka | Gustav_Metzger | Eva_Meyer und Eran_Schaerf | Deimantas_Narkevicius | Bruce_Nauman | Maria_Pask |
Manfred_Pernice | Susan_Philipsz | Martha_Rosler | Thomas_Schütte | Andreas_Siekmann | Rosemarie_Trockel | Silke_Wagner | Mark_Wallinger | Clemens von Wedemeyer | Annette_Wehrmann | Pae_White
*1964 in Utena/Lithuania, lives and works in Vilnius
Deimantas Narkevičius was studying sculpture in Vilnius in the early 1990s when the Velvet Revolution put an end to the genre of socialist realism in Lithuania. Within just a few days, almost all of the monuments from the Soviet era had been removed from the city. Enormous statues tumbled from their plinths – and the young sculptor switched over to film. In Once in the XX Century, Narkevičius uses a simple montage technique to comment on this iconoclasm. By playing images in reverse motion, he shows a statue of Lenin not being removed, but erected to the audience’s applause. As Narkevičius points out, “Everyone seemed to think that removing these objects would lead to immediate changes in society.” In truth, however, the people had simply disposed of silent witnesses to history. Some of these witnesses have survived, including the gigantic bust of Marx in Chemnitz in Germany a town once known as Karl Marx City. When Lew Kerbel was commissioned to create a monumental sculpture of Karl Marx for a parade ground there, he surprised everyone with a design for an enormous bronze bust on a plinth: “Karl Marx has no need for legs or hands; his head says everything.” Seven meters high, seven meters wide, and nine meters deep, the philosopher’s bust weighs a full forty tons. When it was unveiled in 1971, a quarter of a million people were in attendance to celebrate the occasion. A film by Narkevičius presents people’s reactions to the monument, both then and now. Narkevičius’ original idea would have explored the extent to which society has changed since then, both in the East and in the West. He had proposed removing the bust in Chemnitz and transporting it to Münster, where it would have been displayed for the duration of skulptur projekte münster 07 before being returned home. Unfortunately, this project proved impossible to realize. Marx in Münster remains an idea – but one that captures our imagination.
Deimantas Narkevicius has become an internationally known film and video artist, since he represented Lithuania at the 49th Venice Biennale in 2001. On the surface, his films seem to reflect the communist experience in Lithuania, but in fact they go far beyond. Narkevicius explores the perception of history, which can be modified by ideologies and utopias, as well as the social processes by identifying the existential interconnection of his films' protagonists with their urban and economic environment. In order to reflect these links, different cinematographic techniques and narrative procedures overlap in his films. Narkevicius, a sculptor by profession, sees film-making as the production of digital sculptures. In his art he wants to identify places and elaborate their specific structures.