Lithuania. Two Centuries of Photography

Temporary exhibitions

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  • Thursday, June 15, 2023, 6:00 PM - Sunday, October 29, 2023

The exhibition tells a story about Lithuania and its inhabitants, about history and memory, as well as about selected motifs shaping Lithuanian identity. The show offers a wide historical overview: the oldest of the photos shown at the exhibition date back to the 19th century, the most recent to 2020. In addition to the canonical works of recognised masters, the exhibition features work by less known artists, including emigrees. Traditional photographs are on display along photo books and photo albums.

The exhibition is not a typical chronologically framed retrospective. It focuses on selected motifs and themes, which is reflected in the titles of individual sections: “Atelier”, “A week in Vilnius”, “Photographer’s wanderings”, “Silence”, “Self-portrait”, “Personal memories”, and “Lithuania’s diversity”.

The photos in the exhibition demonstrate a great variety of content and form. What they have in common, however, is the search for beauty in the ordinary and the everyday. Most works display poetic, tranquil, and melancholy qualities. They were arranged in such a way as to show the interdependence between successive generations of artists. Artists of such stature as Józef Czechowicz, Jan Bułhak, Antanas Sutkus, and Romualdas Rakauskas are juxtaposed with representatives of the “new Lithuanian school”, such as Tadas Kazakevičius and Indrė Šerpytytė.

The photographs on display contain numerous motifs specific not only to Lithuania, but also related to a common experience of Central Europeans. After all, Vilnius was an important city also for Poles and Belarusians, and the dramatic experiences of the Soviet occupation were shared by citizens of many countries in this part of the continent. “Lithuania. Two centuries of photography” will therefore be yet another exhibition that tells the history of Central Europe through photography, much like our earlier shows, such as “Photobloc. Central Europe in photo books” (2019) and “More than Bauhaus. German photography between the wars and Polish parallels” (2021).

The exhibition is accompanied by a publication of a Polish-English, richly illustrated catalogue.



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