The Media Education and Research Center “Meno Avilys” invites you to the screening programme THIS CITY IS WEIGHTLESS on November 28th, December 5th, and December 12th.
Screenings will be held at the “Meno Avilys” Cinematheque (A. Goštauto str. 2, Vilnius). All screenings start at 7 p.m.
Events are free. Registration ensures a place in the screening: https://forms.gle/NorCTrF3anH2zHrs8
This city is weightless. Here there are no memories. When I walk along the street, I’m hardly walking, practically floating.
Utters the character of Gintė Regina’s film “By Your Side” (2020) as she looks through the upper window of an apartment building at the massive bridges stretching over the Thames River. The laws of gravity are ignored throughout the entire series of screenings. Here, the daily life of cities unfolds via dancing in living rooms and smoking in stairwells, capturing strangers’ faces on the phone in night clubs, and making conversations as precious as the freedom not to carry them with you, the freedom to forget them, the freedom to wander. Being in the city and with it, and seeing the city as a space of imagination, quest, and “coming of age” that shapes you and is shaped by you, is the thread that connects all three parts of the program. The urban landscapes that transpire in the program not only encourage, nurture, and enable but also often limit, thus creating a space for longing and fantasies. A boring scenery, seen through a taxi window, may appear intriguing and charming for a moment after hearing an old song, and one can suddenly be filled with joy. After losing oneself in the suburban blocks of cottages built as a promise of a better life or daydreaming of a city in an area long forgotten by the outside world, one can suddenly feel helpless. An intense urban experience can be simultaneously energizing and debilitating, open to unseen possibilities and confusing, fit into a handful of moments, or last for years. In the films and videos of the program, the boundaries between the collective frenzy, the joy of discovery, and the sadness of acceptance are barely perceptible. Here, experiences fuse with fiction, naivety with romance, flirting with loneliness, desire for closeness with provocation. A complete opening to the city by filling it with one’s experiences, both personal and sentimental, regardless of place or time, captured by different means and expressed in various forms. Although recognisable, such a relationship with the city remains irreplaceable, each time immersing anew, each time talking through the present. The wide-open eyes of film characters seem to imply – another day has already dawned, and I’m moving with it.
– We disguised ourselves as each other‘s bodyguards and went to the nearest airport. People watched with curiosity and enthusiasm as we protected each other. (Case, Whirl, 2023)
November 28th, 7 pm
„Tchoupitoulas,“ directed by Turner and Bill Ross, 2012, 80 min
In sync with innovative instincts they demonstrated in their first feature 45365, Bill and Turner Ross’ Tchoupitoulas takes the term documentary to mean, primarily, the documenting of an experience—a distinct time and a place and the people that inhabit it. No interviews, no voiceover; just the evocation of an existence and the feelings it conjures.
Three young brothers take a secret sunset journey across a river to a pleasure island that’s always been forbidden to them. As such, the narrative conceit of Tchoupitoulas is as timeless as a fairy tale. But through the eyes of our juvenile protagonists, we experience an impressionistic immersion into this beguiling kaleidoscope of dancers, musicians, hustlers, drag queens, and revelers that parade through the lamp-lit streets between Rampart and the river. While the kids can only glance at the glittery surface, the camera follows the melodies that emanate from these corridors to admit us to the cabarets, into the dark alleyways, next to the barflies, behind the curtains, and on the bandstand with the people who make this place their audience, their stage, their home.
The Rosses capture the fleeting moments of an enduring experience in one of the world’s most unique cities.
THE ROSS BROTHERS are an American filmmaking team whose work has brought them renown as some of the most innovative independent filmmakers working today — pushing the art of presenting uninhibited portraits of people and places with all the complicated, humanistic, and lyrical truth that that entails. Their work has been featured at museums and festivals throughout the world, including the Berlinale (Bloody Nose Empty Pockets) and Sundance, where they premiered Bloody Nose Empty Pockets in 2020, and received a Special Jury Prize for Western in 2015. They have been the recipients of an Independent Spirit Award as well as accolades from CPH:DOX, Full Frame, and South by Southwest.
According to Metacritic they are tied with Paul Thomas Anderson as the 6th best reviewed filmmakers of the 21st century. In 2023, their body of work was celebrated with a retrospective at the Centre Pompidou, Paris. They are members of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences.
December 5th, 7 pm
Video works by contemporary Lithuanian artists, 50 min. Featured authors: Gintė Regina, Marija and Petras Olšauskas, Anastasia Sosunova, Case (Ieva Lygnugarytė and Xavier Mitchell), Ieva Kotryna Ski, and Salvijus Misevičius.
Gintė Regina, By Your Side, 2020. 8 min
Two estranged Lithuanian sisters reunite in a London flat overlooking the River Thames. As day turns into night and trains pass in the distance, old wounds resurface in their attempt to rekindle the connection.
Gintė Regina is a Lithuanian filmmaker working in artist film and narrative fiction. Her short films often follow restless women traversing foreign landscapes in search of belonging. They have been screened in leading venues around the UK, including British Film Institute and Whitechapel Gallery.
Marija and Petras Olšauskas, Miss Bird, 2014, 8 min
“But what can I write! Such words as jets, fountains, waves, spray convey some idea of order and regularity, but here there was none . . . It was all confusion, commotion, force, terror, glory, majesty, mystery, and even beauty.”
Miss Bird’s impression of the Kilauea volcano.
From: Wonders of the Volcano, Ascott R. Hope, 1880
Filmed in different neighborhoods of NYC and documenting various performers, musicians, and passersby the artists met during their stay, this video piece constantly bounces between documentary and fiction (some of the places in the video being fictitious in themselves, such as Cloisters, a museum pieced together from the middle ages built in Upper Manhattan in 1939). The very title of the show refers to the XIX century English traveler Miss Bird and thus links to the communication of aesthetical interaction in our surplus surroundings. The employment and expression of beauty, imperfection, and deficiency became a subject matter of Miss Bird.
Marija Olšauskaitė is an artist based in Vilnius. She employs various modes of collaboration and explores the themes of relationships, openness, intimacy, and belonging. She has had solo exhibitions at Grazer Kunstverein, Graz (2023 m.); Vleeshal, Middelburg (with Eglė Budvytytė, 2023); Editorial, Vilnius (2022); Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius (2019); and Art in General, New York (2014), among others.
Petras Olšauskas is an artist living and working in Vilnius, Lithuania. He graduated in sculpture studies at the Vilnius Academy of Arts.
Case, Whir, 2023, 5 min
In Whir, two friends whisper things they’ve done in New York City to each other while walking down Times Square. The question of whether the video is a real-time experience, a memory, or an illusion remains unanswered.
Case is an artist duo based in New York, composed of Ieva Lygnugaryte and Xavier Mitchell. Their work comprises video, performance, and found objects. Their practice aims to open up an inquiry concerning the following questions:
How much space is each individual entitled to?
How can we employ acts of micro resistance within the confines of contemporary life?
Can we effectively intervene in public/private space with poetry?
Can we open up the use of discarded objects as a vernacular that traces the global flow of social, and material production?
Anastasia Sosunova, When All This Is Over, Let’s Meet Up!, 2021, 10 min
When All This Is Over, Let’s Meet Up! is a work centered around Anastasia Sosunova’s interest in secular rites of passage and protection in contemporary Lithuania. The residents of gated neighbourhoods – enclosures that are gaining popularity yearly in this country – hide in the bellies of their own monsters, seeking distance from Others alien to them. Valleys, Hills, Pinewoods, Pearls, etc. – such are the marvellous names of these settlements that conceal fences and fortress guards, access to private beaches, those names plastered on advertisements beaming with young happy families, and accordingly promises for a safe future and fulfilled desires. An opportunity for a few to escape from the self-inflicted hustle and bustle of the city, into a like-minded space that encodes against the undesired flows of what is left behind yet provides thresholds to cross the monsters’ jaws unscathed. The flag-waving fortress stands as the antithesis of what we call „post-Soviet,“ and at the same time, its continuation, surrounded by a „post-political“ neoliberal city anxiously trying to catch up with the ideals of the upper middle class.
Anastasia Sosunova is a visual artist based in Vilnius. Her multidisciplinary work combining video, installation, sculpture and graphics grows from personal histories and their entanglements with broader cultural, economic, and spiritual structures. Solo and duo presentations include: Editorial, Vilnius; eastcontemporary gallery, Milan; Cell Project Space, London, and SixtyEight Art Institute, Copenhagen; Britta Rettberg, Munich; Screens Series programme, New Museum in New York.
Ieva Kotryna Ski, What Was Captured By The Time, 2016, 10 min
„Now I would like to invite everyone to follow me,“ the video begins with the voice of Rytis Saladžius inviting everyone to the exhibition/event „Batutas“ by Marija Olšauskaitė and Jurgis Paškevičius. What Was Captured By The Time is the first compilation of phone videos, followed by several more in the coming years. This video resulted from a defect in HTC’s smartphone camera and the decision to press „rec“ at certain moments without any pre-conception. These are what I call videos from the pocket: snapshots of parties, events, life in between, and moments from random days. Maybe some of you will spot yourselves in them, too.
Ieva Kotryna Ski is an artist based in Paris. Her practice includes working with documentary film forms, text and audiovisual installations. Exploring the materiality of the digital image, her work often questions our relationship to the ever-changing environment. Whether it is people scattered across cities, Taiwanese forests or sinkhole caves, Ski is always in search of systems of connection in fractured landscapes. As a video artist, Ski often contributes to other artists’ works, performances and plays.
Salvijus Misevičius, Hyperion, 2022, 7 min
As the dissonances in the Vilnius panorama unfold, the protagonist reads fragments of letters from Hölderlin’s epistolary novel, describing the impossibility of classical ideals.
Salvijus Misevičius lives and works in Vilnius, Lithuania. In his video work, he often relies on analogue expression and employs the principles of structuralism and the video essay. 2023 B.A. in Photography and Media Art, Vilnius Academy of Arts
December 12th, 7 pm
„Fire,“ directed by Kristina Inčiūraitė, 2005, single-channel video, 5 min 30 sec; „Transnistra,“ directed by Anna Eborn, 2019, 96 min
Fire, 2005, single-channel video, 5 min 30 sec
The video shows the abandoned outdoor summer concert stage of the Šiauliai city park, which was quite popular with a youth audience in the Soviet period. However, with time, fewerand fewerevents have been held in this venue. Šiauliai schoolgirls appearing in the video are rather pessimistic about the prospects for cultural initiatives in the city and talk about the dormant city life. Their gloomy thoughts are interrupted by sounds from a concert dedicated to the annual firefighters’ festival held on the summer concert stage. In the words of Šiauliai residents, this concert is the only remaining popular open-air event in the city. However, no matter how cheerful it may be, it is insufficient for locals, and young people perpetually keep moving to larger cities.
Kristina Inčiūraitė (1974) – an interdisciplinary artist and a member of the Lithuanian Interdisciplinary Artists’ Association (since 1999). She has lived in Ireland since 2020. Her works have been exhibited in numerous venues, including the National Gallery of Art, the MO Museum and the Contemporary Art Centre in Vilnius, the MAXXI National Museum of 21st Century Arts in Rome, the National Art Museum of China in Beijing, the National Art Museum of Ukraine in Kiev, KUMU Art Museum in Tallinn, the Oi Futuro Cultural Center in Rio de Janeiro, the Kalmar Museum of Art in Kalmar, the Budapest Hall of Art or Palace of Art in Budapest, etc.
Kristina Inčiūraitė employs different types of media to create photography, objects, videos, video installations, experimental films, performances and audio projects. Her works offer a sensitive look into the current surroundings. The artist pays a lot of attention to the analysis of identity and its transformation in different social areas.
Transnistra, dir. Anna Eborn, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, 2019, 93 min
Set in the self-proclaimed state of Transnistria – a country founded on an old Soviet legacy – a group of teenagers plays hide and seek in an abandoned construction site. In stark contrast to their seemingly carefree existence, there is the shadow of the old communist society reminding them of the limits of their possibilities. While weaving a fragile narrative thread of a classic love story, the movie is carried forward by the youths in their longing to be acknowledged, and their belief in walking towards adulthood in their own way.
Anna Eborn was born in 1983 in Sweden. Her debut feature lengthand self edited documentary, Pine Ridge, was selected in theOfficial Selection at the Venice International Film Festival 2013 andwon best Nordic documentary at the International Film festival inGothenburg in 2014. Further films include Epifania, a hybrid/fictionwhich premiered at the Busan International Film Festival in 2016and the feature-length documentary Lida, which premiered incompetition at CPH:DOX 2017 and in the international competitionat Visions du Reel 2017. Her new film Transnistra is celebrating itsworld premiere as part of the Big Screen Competition at the 2019International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR).
The screenings will be presented by curators of the program. The films will be shown in the original language with Lithuanian subtitles.
Organiser | „Meno Avilys“
Curators | Ona Kotryna Dikavičiūtė, Gerda Paliušytė
Communication coordinator | Dovilė Raustytė-Mateikė
Design | Ona Kotryna Dikavičiūtė
Translation and proofreading | Aistis Žekevičius
Sponsors | Lithuanian Film Centre, Lithuanian Council for Culture, Vilnius City Municipality
Information partner | LRT