BREATHE IN THE AIR
PROJECTIONS AND STILLS BY RIMAS SAKALAUSKAS
Breathing is commonly underrated. We do not really pay attention to this vital reflex in our daily lives. Only in special moments, we suddenly become aware of what inhaling and exhaling is about. In sports and yoga, we even learn how to breathe properly. Shock moments can cut our breath. No wonder that the title of this show is borrowed from Pink Floyd’s seminal “Dark Side of the Moon” of 1973. This concept album explores the various facets of human life, starting with heartbeat, then turning to “Breathe” as a reminder of the importance of living one’s own life.
This duo show with selected works by two leading Lithuanian multimedia artists reveals a sharp and contemporary take on this theme. Using such different media as video, virtual reality, digital collage, and assemblage, Audra Vau and Rimas Sakalauskas take us on a journey “within”, where things are not as them seem at first sight, inversing orders, shaking up preconceived thoughts.
The intriguing large scale photographs by Audra Vau were all taken under the full moon, with long exposure times, some of them in her own garden in Lithuania, others in Crete. This recent work series is entitled “Held Breath” which for her can be taken as a personal attitude towards life, as a small gesture to focus on the challenges of every day. At the same time, it can also be applied more generally to the situation of her home country, which has been exposed to a lot of political pressure for a long time, so that people were getting used to “holding their breath”.
The video work “Reversed” by Rimas Sakalauskas, shown here on a big screen with an original soundtrack by well-known Lithuanian composer Linas Rimša, and the related stills and projection, perfectly capture the mighty breath of a brass band, albeit in a strange setting where the instruments play on their own and inhale rather than exhale the music. While still keeping up their natural elegance, the shiny silver and golden horns suddenly start to look like massive diesel engines of the past. Through this lens, the world seems upside down, under high pressure, though in a highly esthetic way.
Audra Vau was born in 1970 and studied at the National School of Art in Vilnius. She exhibited numerous times, e.g. at the Contemporary Art Center of Vilnius, Christine König Gallery and Max Lust Gallery, both in Vienna. Audra also took part in the exhibition Edge of Chaos with Gianluca Malgeri (Italy), LaToya Frazier (USA) and Egle Rake (Lithuania), curated by Vita Zaman and Nicola Vassell, during the Venice Biennale in 2015.
Rimas Sakalauskas was born in 1985 and is a leading Lithuanian multimedia artist. He studied Photography and Media Art at the Vilnius Academy of Arts and at the Royal College of Arts in London. His video works have gained great recognition, both in Lithuania and internationally, and were shown at Vienna Contemporary, Positions Berlin, Art Market Budapest, Art Moscow, and ArtVilnius, among others. They have been featured in theatres and concerts in Europe as well as Asia, and Rimas has received several media art awards for them.
In kind collaboration with Vilnius City Gallery “Meno Niša”, we are very pleased to present both artists for the first time in Brussels, to showcase the vibrant Baltic multimedia art scene.
Text: Robert Klotz