THE SOLO EXHIBITION BY LITHUANIAN ARTIST DEIMANTAS NARKEVIČIUS, “ARCHAEOLOGY OF MEMORIES”, WILL OPEN ON 12 JUNE AT THE FORMER KGB HEADQUARTERS IN RIGA, LATVIA
On 12 June 2015 at 18.00 the solo exhibition “Archaeology of Memories” by the internationally renowned Lithuanian contemporary artist Deimantas Narkevičius will open in the Corner House (the former KGB headquarters) in Riga. This is the first time that works by Deimantas Narkevičius will be on display in Latvia – a unique opportunity for art enthusiasts to get acquainted with a number of installations and video works that have played an important role in the artist’s career and earned a place of their own in the context of international contemporary art.
Deimantas Narkevičius (born in 1964 in Utena, Lithuania) is one of the most vivid and relevant figures of the contemporary art scene of the Baltic States. Narkevičius made his artistic debut in the early 1990s, after graduating from the Department of Sculpture at the Vilnius Academy of Art, but it was his studies of various narrative structures in the media of film and video that actually brought him international recognition. An active contributor to group exhibitions, the artist has mounted over sixty solo exhibitions worldwide since 1994. Deimantas Narkevičius has taken part in several editions of the Venice Biennale and shown his works at the Sao Paulo, Istanbul and Gwangju biennials, as well as the Manifesta 2 and Manifesta 10 exhibitions and many international film festivals. His works are in some of the world’s most significant contemporary art collections: the Tate Modern gallery in London, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (Madrid); Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Louisiana Modern Art Museum (Humlebæk, Denmark), etc. The artist resides and works in Vilnius (Lithuania).
The Archaeology of Memories exhibition features a number of recent installations and videos that are part of a wider context of international contemporary art. The artist’s works are like a series of studies of a recent past; we could also call them practices of mnemonic archaeology. Narkevičius cares about the interplay between the past and the present. One of the reasons why we remember past is because these memories contain something that is also relevant to us today. Through his works, the artist helps us recover memories about past that, in its inevitably incomplete and restored version, continue to influence the way in which we think about today. Archaeology is said to be a science that deals with ‘traces’ of the past. In the artist’s works, these ‘traces’ are transformed into fragments of memories – words and thoughts crystallised into a multitude of stories.
The exhibition in Corner House at 61 Brīvības Street will be on view from 17 June through 15 August 2015, open Wed–Sat from 11:00 until 17:00 hours. The exhibition is organised by the Latvian Cultural Projects in collaboration with ABLV Charitable Foundation, Lithuanian Council for Culture and the contemporary art gallery VARTAI (Lithuania). Curator of the exhibition is Maris Vitols (Latvia). The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue. Admission free of charge.
Text by Maris Vitols, curator of the exhibition
1) Deimantas Narkevičius. Holy War. 1996. Installation. Boots and incense.