Benas Liandzbergis “Born in (IN)Dependence”



I came into this world at a time when our nation had been enjoying independence for several years. The path ahead was unclear, and we grappled with the challenge to navigate this newfound freedom. But at least there was a glimmer of brightness in our eyes. Well, in a sense. Freedom was just the first step; other dependences, internal, material, and psychological, loomed on the horizon. I’m not saying that there were no problems, but three decades on, I would say that it is only now that we start to recognise the challenges of that time, and that we also feel differently about current times and their own difficulties. Growing up, in my childhood and teenage years, there were strange periods in terms of social phenomena, fashions, and trends; I wasn’t really interested in the art scene back then. My focus was on experiencing, understanding what my environment was feeding on, what my reaction to it was. My attitude towards my environment and what I myself feed on has also been shaped during that time. As I reached the present, which is also different from my childhood and adolescence, everything seems to be changing even faster. When I was a bit younger, there was more violence and exclusion in my environment, and I was not even allowed to play early video games. Concepts like owning a phone and enjoying other innovations, or engaging in discussions about gender, race, and political phenomena were beyond reach. This whirlwind of transformation and rapid change is reflected in my canvases – like a jumble of past and present. I leave it to the viewer to imagine the future.

In my works, I use irony, sarcasm, paradoxes as my knife and fork, though one shouldn’t stick to these words. I’m questioning myself, our society, our collective choices and their lasting impact on us. I also record my personal experiences that have happened or are happening. This exhibition is about the time in which I live and its fragmentation. About the time in which we have so much freedom (well, at least in our country) and yet many of us live in prisons, either of our own making or of others’. There is some contradiction in many of my works, which I invite you to find and to discover the whole satisfaction of the exhibition.