The Rooster Gallery presents an exhibition KRIPTIK by the young generation artist, painter Emilis Benediktas Šeputis featuring his latest series of works in which the artist is looking for the unity of the meanings of different phenomena, objects and texts that have shaped his and his generation’s imagination and its parallels and place within the historical iconographic tradition.
The exhibition KRIPTIK unfolds as a perpetual interplay of encoding, decoding, and transcoding, where the various visual elements within the artist’s works coalesce into enigmatic wholes. Šeputis poses an unsolvable conundrum, drawing inspiration from diverse iconographic traditions and appropriating materials from seemingly random sources. The result is a synthesis of disparate imagery into novel, culturally rich formations that bear witness to the multiplicity and global nature of contemporary visual culture. The fragmented and collaged landscape of today’s visuals, interwoven with different temporalities, is a central theme in Šeputis’ exploration.
Through the incorporation of elements from the “Yu-Gi-Oh!” card game, the artist constructs contemporaneous sign systems, weaving dense visual narratives teeming with meanings and contexts. These narratives are aimed at capturing the structure of feeling prevalent among the youngest generation. By presenting a collection of inspirations and significant discoveries in the form of cards, Šeputis establishes a vocabulary of iconography rooted in his childhood experiences. The time when these cards were cherished collectibles, shared among peers, and a source of collective enjoyment forms the basis for an undefined yet resonant iconography. It is a homage to an era where shared cartoons created universally recognizable characters, surpassing the iconic heroes, plots and symbols that have endured for millennia.
Šeputis, however, refrains from asserting the uniqueness of the present. Instead, he intricately links, combines, and juxtaposes characters and plots from anime and manga, pop culture references, and the aesthetics of television and the internet over the last decades. These are interwoven with magical and mystical symbols that have shaped contemporary culture, along with traces of ancient allegories and mysterious religious symbols, details from the old paintings. The resulting narratives are contemporary systems of images and texts where understanding the signs of one temporality weakens the other. These unstable, multifaceted, and shifting intertextual positions, with their excesses or depreciations, paradoxically contribute to the universality of culture.
Emilis Benediktas Šeputis (b. 2000) is a painter of the young generation who completed his bachelor’s studies in painting at the Vilnius Academy of Arts in 2023. Since 2019, he has been participating in creative workshops and art projects. From 2021, he has been involved in group exhibitions, both as a participant and a curator. He works as a scenographer, and in 2022, he was awarded the ‘Golden Stage Cross’ for his work in the creative team of the dance performance ‘Me two / We, The Clique’ (‘Low Air’ dance theater). In 2023, he became a finalist in ‘Zabolis Art Prize’ painting competition. The artist’s works are found in private art collections in Lithuania and abroad.
Graphic designer: Jokūbas Juršėnas. Lighting artist: Nojus Drąsutis. Curator: Bliss
The exhibition will be open until 25 of February.
This exhibition is a part of new project “SU-MENĖK” by Vilnius City Municipality.
The gallery’s visiting hours: Thursday to Saturday 16.00–19.00, Sunday 14.00–17.00.