Alfonsas Budvytis

6 p.m. 6th March, 2015 will be opened A photography exhibition "Eloquent silence" by Alfonsas Budvytis at Klaipeda Culture Cummunication Centre. Curator Danguolė Ruškienė.

Eloquent silence combines two absolutely contradictory concepts – silence and speaking. Silence usually is regarded as suitable for contemplation and self-analysis; for everything that needs tranquillity, isolation from any sound, disturbance and interference in order to be understood or achieved. On the contrary there is eloquence. It says a lot and therefore simply provides a certain amount of information. Speaking is not necessary a communication, yet always a translation of thoughts, opinions, experience, etc. Feedback is expected most of the times. When it occurs, a discussion, an exchange of opinions is started, which eventually leads to contact. This is precisely what can be noticed in photography of A. Budvytis. It is a contact with more or less hardly identifiable bits of reality that don‘t seem to contain a lot of action, yet provide a surprising amount of information.      

The nature of A. Budvytis photography itself is dual. The image captured in the pictures emanates deafening silence, meditation, immerses into a deep reflection. Sometimes it‘s melancholically gentle, sometimes – abusively provocative. It is never aggressive, yet always pushes towards searching for an answer - all in order to know, to realize and eventually – to understand. However, it is not possible. It will always remain only as an aspiration. Most likely the silent nature of the photography could be explained by the author himself and no one else; though he did not leave any deciphering codes for his images. And that is good. By not limiting his creative work by time, space, or concepts-titles (each photography has even several) he left them open for everyone. Even today the photography of A. Budvytis keeps transforming, changing and acquiring new contexts (both figuratively and literally).

A. Budvytis was looking for the meaning of life in simple, mundane things, his surroundings. He was not the only one doing this, but he was especially diligent and responsible when creating his works. If you look at the pictures from his first years as an artist, you can see that people from the photos obviously are not masters of their destiny or their situation. They are wandering and searching. They are eternal travellers. Already tired, yet still missing their freedom, missing such freedom that does not belong to people. A. Budvytis has felt that himself. System, structure, obligations, traditions, routine and eventually – weariness, apathy, that make you take the position of a bystander rather than an active role in life. That was the character of his photography, taking various shapes, of a human or a thing. Artist was very attentive towards the surroundings. He used to notice even tiniest changes. Very often he would arrange subjects of his last pictures himself. He was one of the artists that take time to mature their ideas and take even more time to find solutions to materialize them, persistently going towards the result set in their minds. Not only while taking pictures, but also while printing them on paper, looking for relation between image, thought and colour/shade - precisely the one that is needed.  

A. Budvytis found everything he needed for his creative works next to him. He took photos of people that he met, that were brought together with him by fate, common experiences and feelings. He took pictures of strangers, the ones that he saw. Maybe even people that he had a glimpse of when he turned back for a moment. He took pictures of cities and places where he travelled. Even when he was taking photos of exotic countries far away (South East Asia and others) artist did not adore unusual local style of life, architecture or native vegetation. He was trying to understand the everyday life of locals; he looked at them openly and without expression of surprise. As if he was one of them. Later on, when silent nature appeared in his photography, he took pictures of what he saw in his environment. Pictures of what he grew himself or found while walking in the fields, wandering in forest. He could easily grasp everything and use it for creative work. Surprisingly, it was a double vision. It was a practical one, as of a human, who recently started farming in the village (before A. Budvytis used to live in Vilnius) and the one of an artist, who can create whole photographic epic from a found bird‘s wing or can transform any vegetable into hero of his undisputedly valuable creation. 

Pharmacy studies seemed to predetermine the experiments of A. Budvytis, which since 1983 occurred in various colourations, toning and other additional effects of photography. However, the greyness of his photography still did not disappear. On the contrary, newly appeared colours contrasted with gloomy tones and emphasized them even more. Also, deliberate lack of quality and “ruined” shots that look like they were represented by accident, leave an impression of an open and impactful photography. When he was living in a village, A. Budvytis immersed himself into particular nature studies. He took pictures plants, vegetables, animals and other objects of various textures and colours. Sometimes he submerged them in water; sometimes he looked for expressive reflection in a shard of glass or observed visual deformations in a piece of ice. All was used not in order to create something that does not exist in reality. Instead, it was done to unmask the reality, to expose it and in a way to testify how primeval it still is. The world of A. Budvytis is intimate, very personal, yet also open and elemental. Sometimes it is a bit ironic; always rebellious. His photography never denies. In there we cannot find any critique, only gentle melancholy, deep thought, consistent, attentive and deep gaze that explores surroundings. His photography has its own way of talking. It speaks by the means of silence.   

Exhibition will last till 19th April, 2015.

Organizer  – PO "Meno menė"