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Titled “Urban Stories” the project is a multi-platform presentation that will occupy multiple spaces within Vilnius. The major exhibition platform, to be staged at the CAC and curated by Ann Demeester (director of De Appel, Amsterdam) and Kestutis Kuizinas (director of the CAC).

Urban Stories. The X Baltic Triennial of International Art
25 09 – 22 11 2009
Curators: Ann Demeester and Kestutis Kuizinas

“Black Swans, True Tales and Private Truths” is a dynamic and multi-media exposition in which many of the artists will present artworks that ‘imagine Vilnius‘ from both an insiders and an outsiders perspective and address its status as one of Europe‘s most enigmatic cities. The exhibition will also present a range of international works representative of alternative urban experiences or idiomatic ways of being and operating in cities around the world. A second project titled Vilnius Coop: gaps, fictions and practices (curated by Ula Tornau and Vera Lauf) is presented in an abandoned medical clinic on Vilnius‘ important promenade ‘Gedimino prospektas‘.

Since autumn 2008 artists have been travelling to Vilnius – from around the globe – to experience and make research about Vilnius and present their work or make performances for the CAC, Vilnius audience. And a number of these artists will be producing specially commissioned artworks for the Triennial.

The title of the exhibition Black Swans, True Tales and Private Truths reflects upon the fact that the Triennial is being staged in Vilnius during a time of crisis – the Black Swan referring to events that appear by complete surprise and have a major impact – and upon the idea that every image, reconstruction or evocation of a city contains a high degree of the ‘consciously false’. According to curator Ann Demeester; “Much has been made of novelist Jonathan Franzen‘s attempts to avoid cliché by writing blindfolded in the dark. This might be just what we have asked artists to do: produce – blindfolded in the dark – a response to Vilnius.

This has generated a plethora of works that are based on a contemporary version of armchair travelling or idiosyncratic local research, works that offer parallel [hi]stories, based on a mixture of rumours and half-truths, hard facts and reliable information. Films, sculptures, performances and installations that offer, a phantasmagorical portrait of an existent city, to borrow from Laimonas Briedis‘ book Vilnius – City of Strangers (2008), or that examine a real place that seems as ‘illusionary’ as Disney’s town ‘Celebration’ or New York’s ‘Roosevelt Island. As a whole the exhibition will position Vilnius as both Everywheresville and Nowheresville, it will scrutinize the fictional character of real places and the reality of imaginary spaces.

Participating artists include: Akvilė Anglickaitė (LT) Kevin van Braak (NL) Pavel Braila (MD) CHIM↑POM (JP) COMFORTABLE project (CN) Cora Roorda van Eijsinga (NL) Laura Garbštienė (LT) Beatrice Gibson (UK) Arūnas Gudaitis (LT) HA ZA VU ZU (TR ) Alison Jackson (UK) Colter Jacobsen (US) Evaldas Jansas (LT) Edmunds Jansons (LV) Paul Ramirez Jonas (US) Frank Koolen (NL) Irina Korina (RU) Algimantas Kunčius (LT) Žilvinas Landzbergas (LT/NL) Gintautas & Mindaugas Lukošaitis (LT) Aurelija Maknytė (LT) Thomas Manneke (NL) Darius Mikšys (LT) MY BARBARIAN (US) Deimantas Narkevičius (LT) Kristina Norman (EE) Nikolay Oleynikov (RU) Ariel Orozco (MX) Gail Pickering (UK) Ibrahim Quraishi (PK/NL) Quirine Racke & Helena Muskens (NL) Kęstutis Šapoka (LT) Emily Wardill (UK) Vita Zaman (LT)