2nd International Print Biennial NOW ART NOW FUTURE, Vilnius, Lithuania

April 4 - June 9, 2008

The Daile review, Vilnius

Now Art Now Future: Attitude and Stance
by Ignas Kazakevičius

The 2nd International Print Biennial Now Art Now Future. Present Time opened in the beginning of April in Vilnius. The curators of the event undertook this work determined to alter the existing situation and "acquire" a project, which is free from subordination to any concrete institutions and embraces the largest art centres of the country. This project is expected to give artists more freedom and enable them to create in a wider context.

The Vilnius leg of the event started at the Contemporary Art Centre as the main venue of the contest-exhibition featuring Lithuanian and foreign artists, followed by a project of Jurate Rekevičiute, Ready for History I hosted by the shopping centre Gedimino 9. Anatolijus Klemencovas and Kęstutis Grigali?nas opened their exhibition in Kaunas on May 9. The awarding ceremony of the winners of the Now Art Now Future also took place in Kaunas. Klaipeda was the last leg of the event, which lasted until June.

How did the 2008 event differ from the 1st biennial of 2005? The 1st biennial had been dominated by Latvian and Estonian artists, who were selected with the help of curators from respective countries. These were young artists, constantly inventing and reinventing. The Russian Saint Petersburg-based artists were invited as guests of the event. The 2nd biennial did away with the regional representation, becoming an international event. Each of the projects had the goal of bringing the public and the artists out of a rut.

In preparation for the 2nd International Print Biennial, Lithuania announced a competition to participate in the exhibition, on the other hand, some artists were invited personally to present their projects. Foreign artists were researched through the networks of print biennials and triennials and the advice of international art curators and managers. It was a competition of ideas. In fact, this project was largely about competition. The central venue in Vilnius presented artists from nine countries showing most diverse work. Diverse in terms of techniques and ideas, the visual impact and underpinning ideological agenda of their work, all participants shared a common denominator: they showed prints of the present time. Print in the context of this event is perceived not as an etching, a silkscreen work or a lithograph, but a concept expressed with the aid of classical technologies, different interpretations and combinations of these.

 photo: the Daily review     
 photo: the Daily review