A solos show by Deimantas Narkevicius
From February 25 to April 22, 2006
Deimantas Narkevicius’s work is a critical look at film, its ability to communicate, and its importance in a primarily visual culture. Deconstruction, ruptures and random juxtapositions push the spectator to fill in the gaps of the story. Within a structure, Narkevicius conveys parallel moments and different perspectives. He creates a back and forth between the past and the present, connecting history to personal experience. He pits documentary truth against potential fiction.
For his second solo show at gb agency, Deimantas Narkevicius presents two new films:
Disappearance of a Tribe (2005, video projection, 10 mn) is a cinematic assembly of private photographs, which portrays the life story of a family. The pictures depict a common life in the Socialist era and that experience, which seem to have been totally lost. Even if this storytelling implicates an autobiographical dimension, the characters are almost invisible (in off-camera); they go with the spectators in a development between the intimacy of a personal experience and the collective utopia of a changing society, between the specific example and the general context. There is ambivalence in the coexistence of these two narrations: the characters seem to lead a humdrum existence but the artist transposes them in an existential reality. Deimantas Narkevicius doesn’t document (hi)story but reveals its process. This film is content in an extended time, going back over the illusion of a certain time but keeping its own rythm.
Once in the XX Century (2004, video projection, 8 mn) is based on existing video material. From Lithuanian National TV archive the artist acquired material which documents the action of taking down the sculpture of Lenin. In addition, the artist bought a video footage of the same action from a freelance video reporter to have two-camera perspective on the event. Those images of Lenin hanging above the crowd and waving his hand were repeated thousand times by CNN during the last decade as the symbol of the disintegration of Soviet Union and failure of the idea of communism. In this film, the editing manipulation shifts in a way that it looks as the crowd is preparing and then celebrating the erection of the sculpture of Lenin.
Deimantas Narkevicius tests the medium, juxtaposes the techniques, transgresses the genres by remixing documents and questions the modern history and the identity of his country, its transformations and its aspirations. Lithuania, a country between liberalism and communism, border of a new Europe, prefers to forget and to focus on its future. Deimantas Narkevicius broaches History from a dynamical, current and subjective memory.
Deimantas Narkevicius was born in 1964. He lives and works in Vilnius, Lithuania.
He is currently in residence at DAAD, Berlin (2005-2006).