VYTAUTAS PLETKUS. THE EXHIBITION OF PHOTOGRAPHY "FROM THE PAST THAT HASN'T YET PASSED“

Opening – on Friday, the 24th of February, at 6 p.m.
The Gallery of Photography, at the Exhibition Hall of the Klaipėda Culture Communication Centre, 1st floor (Didžioji Vandens str. 2, Klaipėda).
The exhibition is organized by the Klaipėda Branch of Lithuanian Art Photographers' Association.

photoklaipeda.lt 

    

V. Pletkus looks at the contemporary reality as if from the once lived but now already only remembered past. Therefore, the present in the works of V. Pletkus acquires a subjective image studded with relics of the past, related with various historical periods and contexts. In the photographs of V. Pletkus we can see ruins of former Soviet farms, desolated missile launch base area, Soviet monuments or a swastika drawn on a wall. Having lost their original purpose and functionality, former power symbols expose only coarse matter and the pointlessness of their existence. The same is also given away by the worn everyday objects: old buses, erodible swings or sold houses.

On the other hand, the criticism of V. Pletkus is not directed only to a specific historical period, its ideology or routine. The projects of the contemporary Lithuaniaafter the restoration of independence in the works of this author seem to be just as unviable[1] as the great communist ambitions. The photographer observes how inadequately capitalism signs replacing the Soviet period or manifestations of militarism already based on new ideology intrude into the contemporary context.

However, the signs of historical periods define only the apparent content of the photographs of V. Pletkus, but they do not limit their meaning. It seems that for the photographer it is way more important to provoke doubts about the rational worldview basis itself than to expose the pointlessness of a single period or ideology. The works of the author do not leave an opportunity to condemn some historical periods and ideologies and do not give hope to find the “right” model of society and examples of meaningful human existence in others. Instead, the photographer forces to raise uncomfortable questions: is the specific social system unviable or the idea of the system itself? And maybe the existence of an individual person does not have any perspective as well? Perhaps, humanity in general is an “unviable project”?

The past in the photographs of V. Pletkus seem to be not yet passed because the emptiness it leaves is neither yet filled with meaningful present nor with the expectations for the future. The flow of time in the face of the corporeal, pointless presence, which is marked only by the signs of constant decay, cannot be indicated with meaningful events; therefore, even the usual concept of linear time loses its meaning as well. Allowing the camera to capture the circumstantial reality in such a state, which can be articulated neither in terms of documentary video, nor with metaphorically conveyed criticism of specific period, V. Pletkus reveals the emptiness of desolated places as well as the void of the existence which lost its meaning.

Tomas Pabedinskas

[1] Photographs from the series “Unviable projects” (2008-2013) and “Territories” (2006-2011) are displayed at the exhibition.

Ticket – 1,70 / 0,85 €

The exhibition is held till April 2nd, 2017.