6 November - 8 December, 2012
Opening - 6 November 2012, 6 pm 

On November 6, Vartai Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of this year’s last exhibition from the Artscape project that will introduce the works of two New York based contemporary artists Alyson Shotz and Ieva Mediodia. As usual, the exhibition will consist of two conceptually different parts with different names and different ways of expression. 

American artist Alyson Shotz explores the relationship between space and light, manipulating them to create complex sculptural structures. Her exhibition titled Interval was originally to feature an animation Fluid State, and thread drawings. Unfortunately, Shotz’s studio was flooded by the Sandy hurricane that recently hit the East Coast of the USA and some of her works were damaged beyond repair. Because of this, the artist was unable to come to Vilnius to install her thread drawings, therefore this part of the exhibition will be presented in the form of documentation as a reference to what should have been on display. 

The title Interval comes from the interval between the waves in the drawing and the intervals of time that exist in the animation to make it appear to be moving. The animation Fluid State created in collaboration with the animation artist Todd Akita is a snapshot of a fictional landscape in which matter and life come into creation over a complete dawn-to-dusk cycle. The sound track for Fluid State was created using sounds from the real world, shaped and melded by British sound artist Simon Fisher Turner. Thread drawings are sophisticated structures of pins on a wall and threads where an important role is played by the materials of drawing and physical motion, as well as the shadow which creates the volume of the drawing. Space is essential in both the animation and the drawing as a precondition of their existence. 

Alyson Shotz currently resides and works in New York. She has had solo exhibitions at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Espace Louis Vuitton, Tokyo, The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, The Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, and The Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH, among others. Her work is included in the permanent collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, The San Francisco Museum of Art, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of Art. 

Ieva Mediodia’s show Simulacra from the Void consists of drawings and paintings which attempt to reflect the idiom of contemporary virtual technologies. Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (e.g., WoW, The Sims, Second Life) are a pure simulacra system, not unlike paintings hung on the wall of a museum. The artist questions the self-identity of virtual game users, people who have emigrated and their cultural belonging, contemporary western society and its art. Simulacra express an in-between state of mind: that of reality and a copy of reality. There is an existential questioning of what the real is. One's consciousness is able to create a virtual self as an avatar; something akin to an egoistic projection. It becomes unclear which life is more real. The line between the two realities disappears and they collide. Valuing art is similar to a persona playing computer games. It becomes unclear which work is more real and what is the copy with the original missing. The immigrant has a similar identity situation - which culture to belong to and if it is possible to separate them. Parallel lines on the drawing/painting reveal simulacra intended or unconsciously suggested. From the emptiness between lines (even the lines of the frame), there is a void which is also a portal; there are simulacra from out of this void suggested by simple gestures and the dimension becomes apparent. 

Ieva Mediodia lives and works in New York. The artist studied painting at the Vilnius Academy of Arts. In 1992–1993 she studied at the Academy under visiting professor Kes Zapkus, and later continued her Master’s studies at Hunter College in New York. She has had solo exhibitions at the Art For Architecture Gallery, Hilsdale, NY, the Nicole Fiacco Gallery, Hudson, NY, the Albert Benamou Gallery, Paris, the Bencivart Gallery, Pesar, Italy, the Richard Sena Gallery, Hudson, NY, the Annina Nosei Gallery, NY, the Times Square Gallery, Hunter College, NY, and MOCA DC, Washington, among others.

"Artscape" is a continuing interdisciplinary project launched in 2009 when Vilnius was the European Capital of Culture. It began as a joint event organised by three organisations – Menų Vartai, Kino Pavasaris and the Vilnius Jazz Festival – promoting the 21st century art scene from different European countries. The Artscape fine art programme hosted by Vartai Gallery introduces unique solo projects of foreign artists paired with Lithuanian authors. A total of 39 Lithuanian and European artists have already participated in the project: Ignasi Aballí, Hans Op de Beeck, Laura Garbštienė, Ugnius Gelguda, Jesper Just, Žilvinas Landzbergas, Atelier van Lieshout, Dainius Liškevičius, Miks Mitrēvics, Gintaras Makarevičius, Ran Slavin, Svajonė and Paulius Stanikas, Erwin Wurm, Andrius Zakarauskas etc. In 2012, the series of Artscape shows was expanded and now welcomes artists from across the globe. 

Patron: Vilnius City Municipality 
Sponsors of the exhibition: United States Embassy Vilnius, Culture Support Foundation of the Republic of Lithuania, JC Decaux
Sponsors of the gallery: Bosca, Lietuvos rytas, Tark Grunte Sutkiene, Infoterminalas, UAB Draugų studija