In September, 2018, photographers from Canada, Brazil, and Poland settled down in the small capitals of culture in Lithuania – Tveriai, Kražiai and Užpaliai. They were invited for three-week-long artist residences by NGO Šviesos Raštas, implementing a continuous project – “ReziPro: Residence in the Province”. For the second year in a row, foreign photographers are invited to create in Lithuanian townships, and the works of last year’s residents will become exhibitions.
The idea of inviting foreign photographers to create in remote areas of Lithuania, away from metropolitan cities or seaside, came to the founder of the festival KAUNAS PHOTO Mindaugas Kavaliauskas. According to him, photographers applied asking for assistance in implementing projects on the most diverse areas of Lithuania, and in the long run it became a separate project combining the excitement of foreign photographers and the desire to create series or a separate part of them in Lithuanian towns and the need to involve communities in the art of photography, to develop the creation of professional iconography on places which tourist-photography has not yet reached.
In 2018, there are three residences and will be two exhibitions of works created in 2017.
In the old Samogitian capital – Tverai, the artistic residence is performed by a French-Canadian photographer Vladimir Antaki. With the help of the local community, he creates diptychs – just when the sun has set, the artist captures the front-end home images in subtle light, combining this footage with identical compositions of the residents standing in front of their houses. Previously coming from the various metropolitan cities of the world, in Tverai the artist created portraits of houses as a loneliness allegory, and after discovering the lives of Tverai inhabitants, he began to create the second part of the diptych – the portraits of them in front of their homes.
Ieva Martinaitis, a Lithuanian-origin photographer from Brazil, stayed in Kražiai. In the context of Lithuania’s century celebration, she brings a message of love and longing for her homeland and raises identity issues. While visiting Kražiai events, homes and the courtyards, Ieva not only traces the footsteps of the project “ReziPro” pioneer photographer Mindaugas Kavaliauskas of the long-term project “Portrait of Kražiai”, but also improves her Lithuanian language skills.
The photo series by the Polish photographer Michal Adamski is created in Aukštaitija, Užpaliai town. He focuses on the uniqueness of the village by speaking to local people, participating in private families and public town holidays or events. Michal has received a number of awards for series about Poland province, thus interacting with strangers is not a novelty for him.
On 27th of September the exhibition by German photographer Julia Baier “Water Matters. Druskininkai” will open in the foyer of Druskininkai Aqua Park. Her works summarize the two decades of the artist’s series about water in Druskininkai in autumn of 2017.
On 12th of October a photo exhibition of a Colombian architect and photographer Santiago Escobar Jaramillo, will open at the Center square of Veisiejai. “ON-OFF Migrations” exhibition was created last year. Upon arriving in Veisiejai, the artist created a multifunctional sculpture from unused old furniture, which, with small structural modifications, became a house, a boat, a car, an airplane and various other forms that depicted departure and stay in different environments of Veisiejai.
The purpose of the project “ReziPro” is to attract artists to the regions of Lithuania, to raise their interest in local identities, cultural landscape uniqueness, social issues, everyday lives, joys and difficulties. Works created in Lithuania by mentioned photographers will not only allow local communities and young people to be brought together in the creative development process of the work, but are also expected to make the names of Lithuania and its small towns more known in the context of world photography. The works created this year at artist residences will be presented in the townships in 2019.
Major sponsors: Lithuanian Council for Culture, The Cultural Center of Matthew Casimir Sarbievius, Tverai Subdistrict, Užpaliai Subdistrict, Veisiejai Subdistrict, Druskininkai Municipality.
NGO “Šviesos Raštas” is an organization for the promotion of photography, since 2004 organizing photo festival KAUNAS PHOTO.