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What is an artwork today can be something else entirely tomorrow. This sentence, picked up from an interview with the artist David Bernstein, is at the very heart of the forthcoming Baltic Triennial.

XII Baltic Triennial

4 September–18 October 2015

Curator: Virginija Januškevičiūtė

Opening: Friday, September 4, 6pm
Press day: Wednesday, September 9, noon–8pm or by appointment

Contemporary Art Centre (CAC), Vilnius
Vokiečių 2
LT–01130 Vilnius
Lithuania

The idea is not new: how we perceive an artwork and what we expect of it changes in time. Things get forgotten, switched around and we end up looking at the wrong end of a musical instrument or playing a painting back to front. Sometimes, however, that’s on purpose: a composition decomposes, a song becomes a mood, a sculpture, a model, a drawing becomes a letter. Are we then to talk about uses of art or rather about the art of uses? Or better to skip art altogether? Well, let’s find out.

This year’s Triennial will focus on the Baltic more than the previous editions: on the geographical region, its culture and the sea. It is a decidedly transdisciplinary event that, in its own motto of sorts (“What is an artwork today…”) is mainly interested in the “something else.” The exhibition opens up a range of topics and their couplings, including influence, exchange, materiality and impact. It’s primarily an exhibition at the CAC, but the six-week program of events—talks, launches, presentations, classes and performances—will expand behind the scenes.

Some keywords:
murmur / model / mood / moon / menu / sisters / temple / syzygy / education / already there / decommisioning / biomorph / particle / plastic / baltic / prototypes / climate change / microorganisms / seabasing / shipwreck / voice / mist / spit / pharmakon / more plastic / pregnant / butoh / color / classes / ballard / baltxploitation / onyx / woods / myth / holy motors / oceans academy of arts / scale / myriad / grief / palace of inventions / currency / practicality / os / waves / now

The public program of the opening weekend will include a lecture-concert on the Suprematist theory of time by artist Perrine Baillieux (as a tribute to one of the Triennia’s pilot projects, an exhibition arranged by Dexter Sinister); a screening of Temple Operating System by Terry Davis, organized by Warsaw-based collective BRUD; and the premiere of Lithuanian curator and filmmaker Gerda Paliušytė’s film, Road Movie.

Throughout September and October, the program of events will continue with BRUD’s crypto-currency fairytale; lectures by Post Brothers and Adam Kleinman; a series of phone conversations curated by Jennifer Teets and Margarida Mendes (The World In Which We Occur); advance presentations by The Baltic Pavilion created for the 2016 Venice Biennial of Architecture; and parallel educational programs developed with artists Gediminas and Nomeda Urbonas (part of the Zooetics Pavilion of Ballardian Technologies, presented at the exhibition in collaboration with Kaunas Technical University), Jay Tan, Perrine Baillieux, The Oceans Academy of Arts, and the CAC’s educator Audrius Pocius. A parallel series of lectures and seminars will be organized at Vilnius Academy of Arts.

The Triennial’s pilot program in 2014 included opening up the CAC staff kitchen for public events; a semester of interdisciplinary seminars at Vilnius Academy of Arts (both co-organized with Aurimė Aleksandravičiūtė and Jonas Žakaitis); the exhibition Work-in-PrOgress and the incantation/talk “The Last ShOt Clock,” both by Dexter Sinister; and the group exhibition Prototypes. After the Triennial closes in Vilnius on October 18, 2015, its other iterations will be presented in various scales and formats at Bunkier Sztuki Contemporary Art Centre in Krakow (November 25, 2015–January 31, 2016, curated with Aneta Rostkowska) and kim? Contemporary Art Centre in Riga (March 18–May 8, 2016). The project will conclude with a gathering on an Estonian island in the Baltic in the summer of 2016.