DUALITY – solo show by A. Miliukaite
The creative interests of painter Aukse Miliukaite are closely related to the history of culture. Having started from various manipulations of iconic works by old masters and modernist painters, she explored the life of an artwork from the moment of its appearance, and analysed how the work becomes encrusted with new stories and myths, how its meaning and significance changes in the course of time, and questioned the authority of an art creator and art institutions.
Having subdued the bright colours that prevailed in her previous works by adding earthy and greyish tones, in her newest paintings the artist continues cultural research and paints various aggregations of cultural artefacts and bizarre objects reminiscent of collections of rare objects, so-called cabinets of curiosities (German Kunstkammer, Wunderkammer). These are collections of anthropological, ethnographic and art objects, which appeared in the sixteenth century and gained popularity in the seventeenth century, becoming the predecessors of the modern museum. Miliukaite’s canvases show fragments of such collections displayed in different interiors. However, the artist is little interested in the primary functions of the cabinet of curiosities to provide historical facts and education, and her former political engagement and critical views are softened by intimacy and personal character. Various objects – artefacts, souvenirs, household objects or items of personal use – that have found themselves as if by chance in undefined anonymous spaces of somebody’s home or a gallery, are related by irrational and unexplained links, which point to the autobiographical nature of these collections. Thus, her compositions become a kind of diary, in which the artist recreates her experiences of the recent years, creative and personal discoveries and losses, as well as broken and newly emerging relationships. When building these personal cabinets of curiosities, the artist emphasizes the duality of everything: she unites and separates reality and fiction, materiality and intangibility, the personal and the common, the subject and the object, the creator and the work, here and there, now and then. And yet, in her works these pairs of oppositions are based on symmetry and coexistence rather than hierarchy and confrontation.
While telling the viewer about herself through objects, Miliukaite also opens a meditative space for other conversations: communication of objects with the viewer, the artist with the viewer, the artist’s previous work with the current work and, finally, the viewer’s conversation with himself or herself. Referring to the philosopher Martin Buber’s (1878–1965) ideas, the artist promotes the dialogue as a means of existence in this world and a creative principle rather than a short-term event. The creative process and the life of an artwork represent constant communication and circulation of ideas, with the spectator as one of its most important links. Thus, the artist provokes the spectators to interact with paintings, to “talk” with them and share their stories, relate them to their experiences and discover themselves and other persons in these paintings.
AUKSE MILIUKAITE (b. 1990) studied photography at the University of the Arts London, and is currently a master student of painting at the Vilnius Academy of Arts. She has held several solo exhibitions and actively participates in group exhibitions, art projects, workshops and plein-air sessions.
We are grateful to „INVL Baltic Real Estate“ for our new temporary home!
Opening: 28 July, 19.00, Gynėjų str. 14