Laisvydė Šalčiūtė on solo exhibition

PROPAGANDA. DREAM TRANSFORMATIONS. 2008. GALLERY VARTAI

Like every one of us, I live in the world saturated with different mass media: television, radio, newspapers, magazines and the like. My colleagues, friends and family also communicate their thoughts and attitudes in their own way. Regardless of my intentions, these multiple messages seep into my mind and start influencing me. They provoke me take some type of an action, they become forces molding my attitudes or states of mind.
This exhibition is about this ‘external’ impact and my attempts to resist and defy it. It is also about dreams, my and these of other people and what transformations these dreams undergo under this ‘external pressure’. Dreams belong to the world both intimate and sometimes poetic, yet, on the other hand, trivial, especially when one tries to communicate dreams in words.
The Propaganda. Transformations of Dreams deals with the proliferation and imposition of the way of life through stereotyped female images, concepts of masculinity and femininity and stereotypes of moral judgment.
Text amply employed in the showcased works is necessary for the composition and also an important semantic vehicle. All these phrases are quotations of different provenance: some of them overheard in conversations, other collected from books, magazines, newspapers, even advertisements. Quite a few of them are in English or French, languages foreign to me, and I like this linguistic distance almost like a wall of glass created by the foreign text between the message and me.
The totality of the exhibition is conceived like a game. Works in it can be arranged in multiple ways. Their organization in space may and should alter the overall meaning. They appear mental pre-fabricates of sorts, like words and phrases. The situation is similar to games we played when children, when each player had to think of a sentence, all together kids would compose a funny story. Rearrange these sentences, and you come up with a different setting, different turns of events, and even a different end.
It is a ‘game’.
Speaking a very trivial language: ‘life is a game, art is a game, and love is a game.’
We may as well turn it the other way round: life is art, game is art and love is art.
In this exhibition I am preoccupied with storytelling. These multiple stories merge into one, even though never explicated, but rather intuited, narrative. Once you relate something in words, it immediately gets dwarfed, looses part of its meaning and significance contained therein.
I did not manage to completely avoid subjectivity in this exhibition, because my gender and my status in society predispose me towards certain means of expression. I am a woman, an artist. I do have dreams.
Despite of that I wanted to orchestrate these complex plots into a story: the main plot and a subsidiary one, running in parallel, secondary, tertiary and even more subplots, which at certain points get intermingled or superimposed.
I want the viewer to ‘read’ his or her story into the work, and maybe a different viewer come up with a different story...
These stories are about our body, one of the key vehicles we use to express our identity. They are also about daily ‘change of dress’ in an attempt to live up to the socially ‘acceptable’. It is also about clichéd female images which ‘occupy’ our thoughts and start shaping us from inside while we remain unaware of it. They are reflected on our appearance, sometimes to the extent of turning us into toys stripped of any individuality.
These are stories about life, love, loneliness, art, games, beauty and dreams, about constantly shifting contradictions of our life.


Translated by Irena Jomantienė