“Ars et mundus“ gallery (A. Mapų str. 20).
Mikolaj Nowacki (Poland) “Odra” (première).
© Mikołaj Nowacki
Odra. Part I
Odra (Oder) is the river of my childhood. I grew up in Wroclaw, Poland. As a child I used to run away from the urban hustle to river’s nature. Sadly, during hot summers the water was not fit for swimming due to pollution. However, it's condition is much better today.
As a teenager I would ride a bicycle many kilometers along the river bank, enjoying my freedom.
At that time– in the 1980s– the river transport flourished. I loved to look at vessels. I always felt like jumping right onto a barge and going to a faraway place. Today, as a result of a deep crisis in river transport, a view of tugboats with barges has become a rarity.
During my university years, the banks of Odra was my first choice for dates.
This photo-essay which I pursued in 2008–2013, was a natural continuation of my need to stay close to the river. I wished to find out, what it is that connects people to the Odra and how strong that connection is. I realised that for people living in the river’s vicinity, it is an unbreakable link.
Odra. Part II. The last Kings of Odra
Cpt. Czeslaw Szarek, 62, with the help of his faithful sailor, Zbigniew Laskowski, 51, and the rest of his crew, transports the largest barges on the Odra River in Poland. He guides the newly built barges from the shipyards of Wroclaw and Malczyce to the port of Szczecin (Stettin), close to the river's estuary. From there the barges are transported into the Baltic Sea where they are delivered to Dutch, German and French investors. The journey from the shipyards of south-western Poland to Stettin takes about one week and demands extensive knowledge of and experience on the river Odra because the waterway is difficult to navigate.
River infrastructure on the Odra began to decline in the 1970s when government officials moved coal transportation to roads and railways. Since then, money for initiatives to improve river infrastructure, like deepening the waterbed, has been scarce. Today river transportation is in its deepest crisis since the river became a part of Poland in 1945.
For Cpt. Szarek, guiding 479-foot-long ships through the narrow and winding Odra is a thrilling adventure. He has worked on the river since 1968 and he spends the majority of each year on the river. He intends to work as a captain as long as he is able. Sailor Zbigniew Laskowski says that he will work on Odra until the end of the world and one day longer. As the crisis in river transportation deepens, Cpt. Szarek and Laskowski emerge as the Last Kings of Odra.
As a boy I dreamed of life on the river and this story is an attempt to understand the reality of such a life. I have been photographing Cpt. Szarek and his crew since 2009 but the project continues. This photo essay is a tribute to Cpt. Szarek and his crew.
Mikołaj Nowacki was born in Wroclaw, Poland in 1972. He is a graduate of the University of Wroclaw, where he obtained a law degree in 1997. Nowacki then began Ph.D. studies, pursuing a doctoral thesis that examined environmental aspects of International Space Law. However, Nowacki discontinued his studies to focus on his other passion, photography.
During 2004 - 2006 he worked as a photojournalist with Poland's most influential daily, Gazeta Wyborcza. He also worked with Finland's national paper the Helsingin Santomat. In 2006- 2011 Nowacki worked for a daily, Polska the Times. Nowacki's photographs have been published in Polish editions of National Geographic, National Geographic Traveler, Newsweek and the Polish weekly magazine Polityka as well as international publications such as Burn Magazine, the Sunday Times Magazine, Le Monde, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Weekly Magazine in Shanghai, China and in the New York Times' Lens.
Nowacki has won numerous awards and has been a finalist in Polish photo competitions such as Grand Press Photo and BZWBK; and in 2012 he received Special Mention in the international photo competition, Winephoto. In 2014, his pictures of New York were shortlisted at the Sony World Photography Awards and one of these won an Honorable Mention in NPPA Best of Photojournalism.
From 2011 - 2013, Nowacki was mentored by Antonin Kratochvil at the VII Photo Agency's Mentor Program.
In 2011, he took part in a group exhibition, iSee with VII photographers at the Griffin Museum of Photography in Boston, USA and in 2013 in Queretaro, Mexico.
In 2013, Nowacki had his solo exhibition "Odra" at the VII gallery in New York.
In 2014, Nowacki's "Odra" was exhibited in China during the Xishuangbanna Photo Festival. He received there a "Nomination for the Best Photographers" as one of the ten best photographers of the festival.
Opening on 1st of September at 4pm
Exhibition on display till 29 of September
Working hours: II – V 1pm – 6pm
Kaunas city council Vincas Kudirka public library, department of youth music and art (A. Mapų st. 18).
Romualdas Požerskis (Lithuania) “Hot summer” (première).
© Romualdas Požerskis
“Hot Summer” could be seen as a previously unpublished continuation of the “Lithuanian Pilgrimages” series by R. Požerskis. At the center of ritualistic scenes of “Lithuanian Pilgrimages” were fidgeting children, bored of long picnics and speeches with the older generation. These kids are now grown up in “Hot Summer” series, made a decade or two later. They are teenagers or even parents themselves now, and are now enjoying the lakes, rivers and streams that can be comparable to baptism water. This series, made over 15 year period, exhibits timeless qualities. Black and white images refuse to disclose the era, only subtly hinted by the swimsuit fashions. The specific Lithuanian small townscape atmosphere is conveyed through spaces where the urban and the natural meets, church towers emerging right next to the lakes. Avoiding any tangible details of everyday chores, the scenes in this series picture people nearly religiously performing holiday rituals. Figures are caught in motion: they dance, dive and paddle, reflecting the importance of local water culture, without which no Lithuanian summer goes by.
“Hot Summer” could be a portrait of the Lithuanian nation, illustrating the strong bond with nature, the call for a way of life in between the city and a summer house. Main cities hibernate in the summer here and children spend school holidays at their grandparents' villages. Relaxed, playful and contemplative, people in R. Požerskis photographs blend in with their environment next to lakes and rivers. Skillfully captured light brings in sacred, festive, nearly religious motives into the series, reflected through repeated details of ecclesiastical architecture.
This series marks the end of an analogue black and white photography era in R. Požerskis practice, after which he turned to digital picture making.
R. Požerskis says: “When travelling through Žemaitija region in the heat of summer I accidentally discovered some 18th century baroque paintings in Salantai town. The paintings featured mythological landscapes of ancient Greece. Hills covered in trees, people bathing in the background of magnificent churches. The air is scorching, fantastic clouds slowly flow over the sky, adults and children cheerfully frolic in the cool waters. Concrete arched waterfalls provide background for diving figures. After working in the fields all day, tanned farmers paddle in the fresh waters of Varnelė rivulet. In Beržoras, after church festival, town guests are sharing a meal, singing, dancing, playing games and swimming in the lake. When working on the “Hot Summer” series, I was framing my photographs to include the urban town vistas or churches to locate the pictured scenes on the map.”
Romualdas Požerskis was born in Vilnius in 1951. In 1975, after graduating from the Electrotechnics department in Kaunas Polytechnic institute, he started working in the Kaunas unit of the Lithuanian photographic society. From 1980 works as a freelance photographer for local and international press. From 1993 he teaches photography, esthetics and history at the Vytautas Magnus University.
He is a member of Lithuanian Photographers Association from 1976, was announced an honourable member of the arts scene in 1989, and awarded a National Lithuanian Culture and Art prize in 1990. In 1994 he was announced an honourable member of International Photographic Federation (FIAP), in 2004 received an Alfred Toepfer Award from Vienna University, in 2005 he received The Knight's medal from the state of Lithuania.
Most important series of Romualdas Požerskis to date are: “Victories and Defeats” (1974–1976); “Old Towns of Lithuania” (1974–1982); “Childers Hospital” (1976–1982); “Lithuanian pilgrimages” (1974–1994); “Memory Gardens” (1977–2004); “Nudes” (1979–2003); “The Last Home” (1983–1990); “Lithuanian road of Independence” (1988-1992); “Mirrage Dosjer” (2002–2003); “The Little Alfonsas' Miseries and Joys” (1992–2005).
Romualdas Požerskis works are kept in various international collections: Lithuanian Photographers association in Vilnius; Photography Museum in Šiauliai, National Library in Paris, France, Finnish Photography Museum Helsinki, International Photography Centre in New York, USA and others.
Opening on 1st of September at 4.30pm
Exhibition on display till 30 of September
Working hours: I–V 9am – 7pm, VI 10am. – 4pm
Kaunas city museum, Lithuanian folk music history department (L. Zamenhofo str. 12).
Exhibition “Rivers”. Jan Caga (Czech republic) “Danube- the Blue River” (première), John Trotter (USA) “No agua, No vida”(première), , Yan Wang Preston (UK) “Mother River”, Mathieu Nonnenmacher (France) “Light the river” (première), Federico Rios Escobar (Columbia) “FARC”.
© Jan Caga (Czech Republic) "Danube – the Blue River"
Ten countries, one river. From Black forest to Black sea. From West to East. From the Source to the Mouth. The Danube, as the European Union's longest river (2872 km), rises in the Black Forest in Germany, flows through Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine and finally reach the Black Sea. The Danube is historical memory. Two and a half thousand years ago the Celts established settlements almost in the entire Danube basin, then came the Greeks from the Black Sea and then finally the Romans. The river is also the boundary. Separating, orientating. The boundary impassable - positive protection as well as negative barrier. For centuries the whole territory south of the Danube was part of the Roman Empire. The Danube became fortified border against the Germanic nations coming from the north. The Danube then has played its role as Europe's most important river from Great Migration Period until the middle Ages.
Jan Caga was born in Czechoslovakia on the shores of river March near the place where it flows into the Danube, in the former communist Eastern Bloc. As a child he watched the "Dream West" across the river and imagined what it was like. But Europe has been divided in half by the Iron curtain: electric fences, forbidden entry. Meanwhile the Cold War ended, Western Europe was integrated and expanded further east. Danube basin and the Danube itself now represents a specific phenomenon within the European Union, connecting the "old" EU western states to the eastern EU states that have only recently passed through economic and social transformation. Such diverse multi-ethnic, cultural and social composition defines the European Union along this historically significant watercourse.
Jan Caga was born in a small industrial town Hodonin, Czechoslovakia in 1976. After graduating from university in Art Design he worked as a freelance magazine/journal photographer. Later he started to work on long-term projects exploring the state of mind and the diversity in society. He focused on globalization affected personal narratives and interactions, avoiding the negative approach employed by the media. Jan has received numerous awards in photography such as the Czech Press Photo Contest, Award of Excellence in the Pictures of the Year International competition, Grand prize PHotoEspaña OjodePez Award of Human Values, PX3 Prix de la photographie Paris, Kaunas Folioport etc. Jan lives in Brno, Czech Republic.
© John Trotter (US) "No Agua, No Vida"
Since 2001, I have been photographing the consequences of the sweeping human alteration of the Colorado River, in the Southwestern United States and Northwestern Mexico. The Colorado, I soon learned, was greatly reduced from what it once was and no longer makes its ancient rendezvous with the Sea of Cortez, between the Baja California peninsula and the Mexican mainland. Forces north of the border had other destinations planned for the river’s water, and in 1922 divided its annual flow between seven U.S. states and Mexico.
They built an extensive network of dams, stilling much of the once roiling river and creating the foundation on which the Southwestern United States has been built. But as it has turned out, the foundation of everything, the premise of 1922, was based more on wishful thinking than fact and up to 25% more water has been promised to the river’s users than actually exists. My project has been an exploration of the disconnection many Americans have with the source of their water, one of the few things in the world without which we will not survive. Inevitably, our entire nation will pay for this hubris. Only the degree of sacrifice is still somewhat negotiable.
John Trotter worked as a newspaper photojournalist for 14 years, locally and internationally, until March 24, 1997, when he was nearly murdered by a half-dozen young men while on assignment for The Sacramento Bee. Photographs he took during his long recovery from his subsequent brain injury have become a book, The Burden of Memory, which came out in 2016.
In 2001, Trotter began photographing in Mexico for his project "No Agua, No Vida" about the deterioration of the Colorado River. He has photographed along the entire 1400-mile length of the river, from its headwaters in the Rocky Mountains, to the desiccated remains of its delta above the Gulf of California. He has lived in New York City since 2000.
© Yan Wang Preston (UK) "Mother River"
Between 2010 and 2014, I completed the project ‘Mother River’, photographing the entire 6,211km Yangtze River in China with a precise interval of every 100 kilometres on a large-format film camera. As China’s ‘Mother River’, the Yangtze is more than a life-giving waterway. Its iconic landscapes at selected areas are idealised symbols of China’s national identity. Its eternal flow, as perceived in traditional China, is now an eternal flow forward, providing a powerful analogy for China’s urge for modernisation. There is a naturalised hierarchy between river places – between the urban and the rural, between central China and its borderlands, and between the iconic and the vernacular. As such, Yangtze the Mother River becomes a myth, contributing to the naturalisation of China’s ideology of modernisation. My project is a formal attempt to challenge the mythic Mother River. No hierarchy exists between my equally spaced photo locations. No iconic landscapes are found at my pre-determined Y Points. Instead, a set of vernacular landscapes is discovered, which is rarely associated with the idea of the Mother River. Since the river source is 5,400 meters above the sea level in the Tibetan Plateau, and half of its length flows through some of the most majestic mountains on the Earth, the project becomes a modern time adventure. And the result is a systematic look at the whole inner life of China, which forms a stark contrast to the Mother River images but keeps true to the complexity of humanity along the river’s course.
Yan Wang Preston is an early career, British-Chinese artist interested in how landscape photography can challenge myths and reveal hidden complexities behind the surface of physical landscapes. She born in Henan Province, China, in 1976. Originally trained as a doctor (she received a BA in Medicine from Fudan University Shanghai in 1999) she moved to the UK in 2005 and completed an MA in Photography in 2009. Her work has been published in many catalogues, journals and newspapers such as: British Journal of Photography; The Guardian; Irish Times; Source Magazine; RPS Journal (May); Chinese Photography Magazine; and China Life Magazine. Yan Wang Preston dues to complete a PhD in Photography at Plymouth University in 2017.
© Mathieu Nonnenmacher (France) "Light the river"
Since the dawn of time, we built our cities around the rivers. But step by step, we began to push them away and hide them. We often like to link subterranean worlds to mysteries. In reality, hidden rivers are the most present underground worlds under our feet. From Paris to Tokyo, from Sydney to Seattle or from Kiev to Montreal, I have traveled through these tunnels and water tanks where the rivers continue to live, attempting to bring them into light.
Mathieu Nonnenmacher (b. 1989) alias MonsieurKurtis is a self-taught travel photographer, born in Metz in France, now based in Paris, France. A graduate of the ISCOM where he studied communication, he worked in the video games industry before becoming a freelance photographer. He works particularly with industrial, historical and natural heritage photography. He is interested in the unseen and attempts to reach places where just few people go. Between May 2014 and June 2016, he hitchhiked around the world. After 7 years behind a camera, his exhibition at Kaunas Photo is his second time.
© Federico Rios Escobar
FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) are the oldest guerrillas in Latin America, fighting for more than 50 years in the jungles of Colombia against the government. During the 52 years since their initiation, they have existed cautiously in the jungle, sleeping in makeshift beds, changing locations every two nights and walking long distances in the rainforest.
During the last four years the rebels and the government have concentrated on negotiations aimed at resolving the country's armed conflict. While a small group of negotiators went to Havana / Cuba, the rebels have remained in hiding in the Colombian jungles.
Even in the midst of negotiations bombs are a constant threat. Several FARC leaders have been killed by the Colombian government bombing their locations.
Rebels have extensive knowledge about the jungle and are a mix of different ethnic and social backgrounds: farmers, academics, indigenous people, afro descendants, and mestizos. Additionally, 40% of the FARC are female. In the ranks they are equals, both men and women work shoulder to shoulder. Inside the camp, men and women have complex tasks and missions. From the radio operations to combat functions, all work is equal, there is no racial, social or gender discrimination.
There was a referendum on whether to validate the peace process. “NO” won, a hard blow to the FARC guerrillas, who were devastated, disappointed at what they hoped would be the support of a whole country and what could have been the end of the negotiation process. The country was a step away from returning to wartime.
Colombian society is fragmented. The process of dialogue and peace negotiations between the FARC guerrillas and the Colombian government continues. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has received the Nobel Peace Prize and the next step seems inevitable. However, the political ideas of Colombians, and the little knowledge the world has of guerrilla fights seems to prevent the integration of men and women who for more than 50 years have wielded rifles in the jungle.
The FARC live in an environment of hope and stress of war, knowing every minute might be their last, meanwhile they are perceived as the law themselves in some territories. For civilians in lots of Colombian places FARC are the ones who solve local problems about land, debts and other community issues.
Federico Rios Escobar is a member of the photographic collective "Mas UNO”. Federico has worked for the national press and for artistic publications around the world developing documentary photography on social issues. Federico’s work has been published worldwide in media such The New York Times, Stern, Times Magazine, Parismatch, El País España, Folha de Sao Paulo among others.
In 2012 he published the book of photographs "The route of the condor" with the University Jorge Tadeo Lozano and the University of Caldas press. In 2013 Federico published "Fiestas de San Pacho, Quibdó" together with the photography collective "Mas UNO".
Federico’s work has been exhibited at the Art Museum of Caldas 2011, Museum of Modern Art of Medellín 2013 and Video Guerrilha, international exhibition of art and photography in Sao Paulo / Brazil 2013 he presented the work "La Firma de Los Rios”. His most recent exhibition “Transputamierda” was displayed in the Valongo international Photo Festival in Santos, Brazil under the curatorial work of Horacio Fernandez and Iatá Canabrava. His most recent exhibition was displayed in La Guardia Gallery of photographic arts in New York during April 2017.
Parallel to his work as a reporter, he has carried out research and made personal work on recurrent themes in his career: the armed conflict, the environment and it's relationship with society.
Opening on 1st of September at 5pm (Free entrance).
Exhibition on display till 30 of September
Working hours: II – V 10am – 6pm, VI 10am – 5pm
Ticket price 1 Eur.
Kaunas Photography Gallery (Vilniaus str. 2).
Mayumi Suzuki (Japan) „The Restoration Will“ (première).
© Mayumi Suzuki
My parents, who owned a photo studio, went missing after the 2011 tsunami. Our house was destroyed. It was a place for working, but also for living. I grew up there. After the disaster, I found my father’s lens, portfolio, and our family album buried in the mud and the rubble. One day, I tried to take a landscape photo with my father’s muddy lens. The image came out dark and blurry, like a view of the deceased. Through taking it, I felt I could connect this world with that world. I felt like I could have a conversation with my parents, though, in fact, that is impossible. The family snapshots I found were washed white, the images disappearing. The portraits taken by my father were stained, discolored. These scars are similar to the damage that was seen in my town, and similar to my memories which I am slowly losing. I hope to retain my memory and my family history through this work. By arranging these photos, I have attempted to reproduce it.
Mayumi Suzuki was born in 1977 in Onagawa, Miyagi and now resides in Tokyo, Japan. She is a photographer whose work explores the dignity of mankind. She was born and raised in a family that ran a photo studio founded by her grandfather in 1930 in the city of Onagawa. She studied at Nihon University, College of Art Department of Photography. On March 11, 2011 an incident which changed her life has occurred. Her hometown Onagawa was destroyed by tsunami and her parents went missing forever. She captures them as individuals and not just faceless figures; and presents the photographs as the proof of their lives.
Exhibition opening 1st of September 6 pm
Exhibition on display till 8 of October.
Working hours: II – V 11am. – 6pm, VI -VII 11am. – 5pm
“Meno parkas” gallery (Rotušės sq. 27.).
Group exhibition. Matthew Moore (USA) “Seascapes”, Päivi Koskinen (Finland) “Monday”, Russ Flatt (New Zealand) “Take me to the river”, Jari Silomäki (Finland) “My weather diary”, Pierfrancesco Celada (Italy) “#Instagrampier, Hong Kong” (première).
© Matthew Moore
I like to think of photography as being a time-based medium. The idea that photographs freeze or capture a fragment in time takes into account neither the recording of the image, nor the experience of viewing it. Even the subject of a “still” photograph can be reflective of more than just the moment at which the photo was taken. In looking at the landscape for example, I am interested in objects or symbols that represent a moment between times. Where as monuments, structures, or public works of art are often done to propagate certain ideals; those ideals inevitably fade, leaving the object obsolete and unwanted. By documenting these symbols, or their absence, during a time when society is trying to forget them, the photographs function like time capsules, preserving our past ideologies while at the same time pointing to the future. The images in this series, entitled Seascapes, depict the marine life murals of the artist Robert Wyland. The murals, mostly from the 1980s and 90s, can be found in almost every major US city. They portray whales breaching the water on skyscrapers or peacefully looking over vast expanses of parked cars. Today, in a world saturated by images they blend into the urban environment like fading monuments to a lost era, and many have been erased from the landscape altogether. They represent a time when as a society, we resisted the transition to a de-natured life by awkwardly altering our urban environment.
Matthew Moore is an Assistant Professor of Photography and Chair of the Visual Arts Department at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, Maryland. He received a BFA degree in photography from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan in 2000 and an MFA degree in photography from Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia in 2009. In 2014 he had the privilege of being an artist-in-residence at the Vilnius Academy of Arts’ Nida Art Colony, in Lithuania. In 2016 he was an artist-in-residence at the Joshua Tree Highlands Artist in Residence Program in Joshua Tree, CA. His work revolves around themes of nostalgia, human-animal relationships, and the evolution of photography.
© Päivi Koskinen
“Monday” is a series of images of domestic hopes and dreams. The duality of Monday is, for some, the beginning of the unbearable reality of responsibilities that invariably hits every week. Our reality, more than chosen, sometimes seems to have been silently selected for us by the society. Some of the people I portrayed have already followed their dreams. Most of them, however, are stuck in their lives, unable to change the way things are. The economical crisis has left many of us with work conditions that seem to get tougher every day. We are asked to give more for less while at the same time, the gap between the rich and poor is getting wider. For some, finding a job becomes the hardest job of all. In the pictures, the allegory of water is visible, being a symbol of purity and cleanness. The intention has been to metaphorically reflect the instant when a person washes away all the feelings accumulated during the day and to show the impossibility to forget who we are and where we are coming from. The fear of future, uncertainty and frustration are some of the feelings these people are trying to wash away although finding it impossible to escape the reality. The pictures have their foundations in the everyday life of the people I meet. I am interested in the real context. I have looked for people to portray who have identified themselves with the project. All the people portrayed are wearing their own clothes, are on their own showers or photographed on their workplace or way home left with the bare feelings of having survived another Monday.
Päivi Koskinen (born 1977) is a Finnish artist working with photography and video. She has graduated from the University of Lahti, Finland with BA in fine arts. Her body of work “Monday” has been exhibited previously in galleries and museums in Helsinki, Barcelona, Bilbao, Berlin, London and Copenhagen among other places, and some of the works belong to collections of museums in Finland and Spain.
© Russ Flatt
This body of work was made while on a residency in Vermont USA during July-September 2016. In Vermont hey have a law- it is illegal to be naked in public, unless you were already naked when you left the house. Nakedness as a state is fully permissible, but becoming naked, removing your clothing once you’ve stepped outside, is not. Nakedness can represent honesty, of something stripped back. It can also represent a certain ideal-how our might our lives be without the cultural, social and personal overlays we apply? These images seek out such ideals, but they also suggest how ungraspable they might be. The subjects that are a mixture of Painters, Sculptors, Writers and Poets and also people that applied to collaborate on the project online. They hold forth a utopian ideal-people acting as extensions of the natural environment, rather than beings apart from it in opposition to it. But neatly cut hair, garment shaped patches of pale skin and perfectly positioned limbs suggest other states of being reminding us that we are witnessing performances. These images were made during a period that coincided with the Orlando gay nightclub shootings and the 2016 US Presidential Campaigns charged (and often homophobic) political rhetoric. Perhaps the request for cleansing- this search for Utopia- anticipates the hopes and dreams of many as we enter the stormy unchartered waters of 2017.
After working as a commercial photographer in New York, Russ Flatt returned to New Zealand in 2007. In 2012 he was accepted to Elam School of Fine Arts in Auckland, New Zealand and the following year won the University’s Photography Prize. Russ was awarded the 2015 Wallace Arts Trust Vermont Residency and the 2016 Auckland Festival of Photography Annual Commission. He lives in Piha, New Zealand.
© Jari Silomäk
Jari Silomäki has taken a landscape photograph every day since 2001. He connects these photographs to important personal or world political events. These images connect personal human relationships and terror strikes, raising children and genocides, the smell of coffee and global economy. At present, these ‘Weather diaries’ comprise thousands of photographs and is a continuous process; all exhibitions on this theme have been different. The starting point of this work was that world events, personal events and weather will repeat themselves and merge into one large continuum. On the other hand, tying landscape and news concretizes how we are in contact with world events through the media. Everything is brought up close, which also means that events that are truly nearby are no longer close.
Jari Silomäki is an artist concentrating on documentary photography. He seeks new forms for traditional documentary to narrate and describe people as accurately as possible as individuals and as a part of the society. Jari Silomäki is currently doing his doctoral research at Aalto University, Finland. He has exhibited widely including Finland, Hungary, China, UK, Italy, Norway and more. He lives and works in Helsinki.
© Pierfrancesco Celada
The Instagram pier is a public cargo pier on the west side of Hong Kong Island. In the past few years the pier has raised to fame as the “Instagram pier”, offering a unique open view of Hong Kong harbour. Towards the evening, and over the weekends people gather here for exercising, walking their pets, taking selfies and scenic photos. Selfies, self-representation and the usage of social media are playing a great part in today's society, especially among the younger generations. Pierfrancesco Celada always wanted to explore further this topic and the Pier represented a good opportunity. He started walking to the pier on a daily basis, and soon began noticing all the repetitions, including his own. People would constantly come to the pier to create, and recreate, very similar “instagram driven” imagery; images characterised by similar poses in very similar locations. A constant repetition of situations played by different actors with very similar goals. Pierfrancesco Celada wanted to begin a conversation with other Instagrammers, using their available images on the platform, collected through simple geo-location and hashtag searches, and combined with his own photographs. Because of the nature of the place and project, it made sense to create the Instagram pier own Instagram account (@insta_pier). The project is ongoing.
After completing a PhD in Biomechanics, Pierfrancesco is now concentrating his attention on a personal long-term photographic project documenting life in modern cities. He has recently been selected to take part in EPEA'03, with forthcoming exhibitions in Paris, Lucca, Hamburg ans Oslo. He won the Photolux Leica Award (2014) and the Ideastap and Magnum Photos Photographic Award (2010). He interned at the Magnum office in London and produced a multimedia piece at Magnum in Motion, New York. His work has been exhibited and published internationally, including New York Times, Newsweek, Time Lightbox, i-D, Amica, D-Repubblica, Leap magazine. He is currently exploring Chinese megacities and Milan's hinterland. He is based in Hong Kong.
Exhibition opening 1st of September 6.30 pm
Exhibition on display till 30 of September
Working hours: II – V 12pm – 6.30pm, VI 11am – 4pm
Lithuanian educational museum (Vytauto av. 52).
Group exhibition. Matjaž Krivic (Slovenia) “Lithium, the driving force of 21st Century”, Christian Åslund (Sweden) “Glacier comparison – Svalbard”, Gideon Mendel (UK) “Drowning World”.
© Matjaž Krivic
The workers are drilling the salt with humongous rigs, aiming for the brine underneath at the world’ biggest salt flats at Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia. Lodged under enormous quantities of magnesium and potassium lies their goal: lithium, the essential power source for all the world's gadgets, the key component to fuel the entire 21-st century. The market for lithium carbonate is booming. According to estimates, it could easily triple in the next five years. Understandably, the price of the white powder itself is surging, lithium still being the most efficient battery component by far… Fuelling not only our mobile phones and laptops but also gaming consoles, solar panels, robots and – more on this later – electric vehicles.
The depths under the salt flats are claimed to contain the world's largest lithium reserves. According to some estimates, the Bolivian Andes contain seventy percent of the planet's lithium.
Soon after his ascent to power, Bolivian socialist president Evo Morales rode the crest of leftist policies in Latin America to nationalise all natural resources – from oil through natural gas to every kind of mineral one could imagine. The land's natural resources, for so long the curse of the Bolivian people, were finally to be turned into a great advantage, forming the core of the national economy and all the beneficial social programs Morales was aiming to implement. Yet so far, this sweeping idealistic vision has failed to materialise.
Some years and several reality-checks later the Bolivian market is clearly opening up. The Chinese are not the only ones to have expressed an interest: the Japanese, the Germans, the Swedes, the French, the Swiss, the Koreans and the Canadians were quick to follow suit. According to our sources, the American electrics giant Tesla also wants in on the action and has reportedly already contacted the government in La Paz via its Canadian base lithium carbonate supplier Pure Energy Minerals. By the way: the battery for Tesla's Model S requires as many as 63 kilograms of lithium carbonate, which is enough to power approximately 10 000 cell phone batteries.
In a recent report, the Goldman Sachs investment bank has called lithium carbonate the new gasoline. The report also predicted that by 2025 the lithium market should expand to thrice its current size. Eight years from now the world's yearly demand is expected to total 470 000 tons. One percent increase in electric vehicles production could increase lithium demand by more than 40 percent of current global production, the report boldly states. Does that mean Bolivia is entering the scrum at an ideal time?
Matjaz Krivic is a documentary photographer specialising in capturing the personality and grandeur of indigeneous people and places. For 22 years he has covered the face of the earth in his intense, personal and aesthetically moving style that has won him several prestigious awards.
He has portrayed poor parts of the world characterised by traditions, social unrest and religious devotion. His photographs sensitively reflect the images of the marginal word – the voices of the neglected. Because of the artist’s directness and respect for individuals, the people photographed are spontaneous, natural and open.Their «soul» is captured and the viewer is encouraged to observe and think.
© Christian Åslund
This body of work started with a period of research at the Norwegian Polar Institute in Tromsø, where Christian Åslund looked through the archives of old glacier photos. A few, taken in the Kongsfjord area of Spitsbergen in the 1920s, caught his attention. He then teamed up with with the ship Rainbow Warrior, a glaciologist from Oslo University and a polar bear guard, and started to search for the locations the old images were taken.
In many locations the landscapes were totally changed. Over the years, the Blomstrand Peninsula had become Blomstrand Island. Christian Åslund photographed this from east, west and south, replicating the photographic angles from nearly 100 years ago.
These images were expectedly criticized by ‘climate change sceptics’ when they were released. Of course, these pictures could not prove that melting of exactly these particular glaciers was caused by man-made climate change. Unfortunately all the glaciers in the region show the same pattern. Most likely these pictures were criticized because they made such a powerful impact and provided clear evidence of climate change.
After this project was complete, Norwegian environment ministers took John McCain, Hillary Clinton, Ban Ki- moon and other famous politicians to witness the same glaciers. The series was featured in National Geographic as an example of good climate change communication.
Since these pictures were made, glacier melting in the region has continued and even accelerated. The sea and the fiords have not frozen around Svalbard at all for several years. Longyearbyen has had rain several winters, and suffered severe damage from avalanches last year, never heard of before. It seems that there might be significant visible changes appearing even compared to 2002, when this series was made.
Despite of this climate change evidence, coal mining on Svalbard has continued up to a few years ago when it was closed due to low profits. Oil companies are moving northwards, with the blessing of the Norwegian Government, to explore for oil closer and closer to the previously ice covered Arctic waters. Greenpeace latest move is to challenge these drilling plans as breach of environmental provisions in the Norwegian Constitution.
Christian Åslund is an award winning Swedish photographer, based in Stockholm. Christian has a background as a photojournalist working for newspapers, magazines and NGO's, documenting armed conflicts, environmental and social issues. He also shoots commercial and editorial photography, capturing life’s moments with a twist.
© Gideon Mendel
The Drowning World project explores the personal impact of climate change within a global context. The project began in 2007, when Gideon Mendel photographed two floods that occurred within weeks of each other, one in the UK and the other in India. He was deeply struck by the contrasting impacts of these floods, and the shared vulnerability that united their victims. Since then, photographer have endeavored to visit flood zones around the world, traveling to Haiti (2008), Pakistan (2010), Australia (2011), Thailand (2011), Nigeria (2012), Germany (2013), Philippines (2013), UK (2014), India (2014), Brazil (2015), Bangladesh (2015), and the USA (2015).
As the project has developed, the 'conversation' created by juxtaposing images from different floods in different countries has intensified. His intent is for Drowning World to bear witness to a shared human experience that erases geographical and cultural divides. In a flooded landscape, life is suddenly turned upside down. Normality is suspended, and human beings must adapt, strategize;
The Submerged Portraits are at the heart of the Drowning World project. Gideon Mendel subjects often invite him back to their homes, and to get there they travel together through deep floodwaters. In these dystopian and disconcertingly abnormal environments, photographer try to make the moment when he presses the shutter calm and connected as he engages with his subjects. Gideon Mendel intent is for their gaze to challenge the viewer and be part of a shared portrait of humanity in crisis in the face of natural disorder- a disorder that humankind has played a role in precipitating.
Gideon Mendel is a photographer from South Africa. His work engages with contemporary social issues of global concern. His intimate style of committed image making, and long-term commitment to projects has earned him acclaim.
Mendel has a career spanning over 30 years. Originally from South Africa, he is currently based in London. It was his work as a ‘struggle photographer’ during the final years of apartheid that first brought attention to his work.
Mendel has worked for National Geographic, Fortune, Geo, The Independent magazine, The Guardian Weekend magazine, The Sunday Times magazine, Condé Nast Traveler, L'Express, Stern and Rolling Stone.
Since 2007, Mendel has been working on Drowning World, an art and advocacy project about flooding. Shortlisted for the Prix Pictet prize, it is his personal response to climate change.
Exhibition opening 2nd of September 1pm
Exhibition on display till 30 of September.
Working hours: I – IV 9am – 7pm, V 9am- 5pm, VI 10am – 3pm (every first Saturday of month).
Žaliakalnis funicular upper station “F gallery“ (Aušros str. 6).
Eugenijus Barzdžius (Lithuania) “Vask“ (première).
© Eugenijus Barzdžius
Very first coin-operated launderettes opened in Denmark in the beginning of 1950s together with so many other phenomena from the Western culture. In Denmark, launderettes typically ran in premises previously occupied by dairy shops. The industry experienced a massive expansion in the 1960s and in the early 1970s, and in 1976 there were approximately 400 coin-operated laundries in Copenhagen alone. Today this number is actively declining; at the national level, there are currently around 325 (2003 data).
Most coin-operated launderettes resemble each other with their rows of washing machines tumble dryers and centrifuges. Payment/control panel is usually the same, and you can find worktables almost everywhere, where customers can put clothes into a basket on wheels that conveniently transports clothes around a launderette. There usually is a bench and a pair of loose plastic chairs (usually marked VASK with a stencil – Danish for laundrette in short) around the room. However, there are also variations in those automated spaces. Some laundries have hand painted decorations on the walls: floral or fairy-tale/cartoon motives, others a photo wallpaper with an image of a very distant seashore or a mountain stream. Small variations are also traceable in the actual layout of public launderettes: the bench by the window is designed exactly to fit the individual window measurements. Various signs instruct customers in different circumstances how to behave in a laundrette: they are not the same but often have same messages.
In most cases a coin operated laundrette facilities are equipped with a large facade sign, where there it simply saying Møntvask, Møntvaskeri or simply just Vask, but a number of Copenhagen laundries have unique names like Vascomat at Njalsgade, Vascotheque on Godthåbsvej and Wascator at Refnæsgade.
A coin-operated laundrette has also been a favourite backdrop for film directors who used neon lights, polished washing machines, dryers and soap dispensers as a cinematic background for unforgettable romantic meetings, comedy scenes and murderous attacks.
I was aiming to document the remaining coin-operated launderettes in Copenhagen to explore the automated spaces created for a specific purpose. A space, where boredom is a typical companion, where time is dragging next to spinning centrifuges, where small talk doesn't happen as often, this is where humans come to meet a machine, to wash away their past from clothes or bed sheets.
Most Danes now have either their own washing machines or access to a shared one in properties where they live. The wealthier society combined with cheaper electrical appliances is slowly eliminating this particular type of business. Those spaces are being converted to serve other economic purposes and are simply being washed away from the streets of Copenhagen.
Eugenijus Barzdžius was born in Šiauliai city, Lithuania. Based in Vilnius, Lithuania and studying part-time MA Photography and Urban Cultures at Goldsmiths College, the University of London. In 2013 graduated from BA student at University of Wales, Newport, U.K., Documentary Photography course, with the prize winning the final project ‘Harvest of Wetland‘. In 2002 graduated from BA Academic Art and Graphic Design at Šiauliai university, Lithuania.
Exhibition opening 2nd of September 2pm
Exhibition on display till 30 of October.
Working hours: I – V 7am – 7pm, VI – VII 9am – 7pm
Funicular one way ticket 0,50 Eur.
Multi-functional Study and Science center of Vytautas Magnus University (V. Putvinskio str. 23).
Alex Boyd (UK) “The Land of Maybe”, Christine Osinski (USA) “New York City’s Archipelago”.
© Alex Boyd
The Land of Maybe is a landmark project documenting the people and places of the Faroe Islands, an archipelago in the North Atlantic between Scotland and Iceland. Taking its name from an old term for the islands given by Scottish soldiers who occupied them during the Second World War, the project has taken place over several years and journeys, and attempts to explore the lives of the people who live in this remote landscape. The Faroe Islands are known primarily for the annual Grind (the killing of pilot whales), and the protests of international groups such as Sea Shepherd who try to end the practice. Events such as these have however obscured the wider narrative of the people who make their lives in these islands. This is the first project of its type in the Faroes and aims to tell the story of those who make their home here, what motivates them, and why they choose to be part of a unique and vibrant culture on the edge of the North Atlantic. It includes people from all walks of life from celebrated artists and cultural figures, politicians, school teachers, their pupils, housewives, and even those who join the whale hunts.
The series will be published as a book by Faroese publisher Sprotin in late 2017.
Alex Boyd is a photographer and curator based in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. His work explores concepts of remoteness, identity, and the North.
In recent years his work has utilized victorian alternative processes, such as wet-plate collodion, photo-gravure and calotype. His stark images of Scottish and Irish landscapes have been made by carrying antique cameras to mountain peaks, and developing the work on site using silver, cyanide and glass.
He is currently working on a book about the islands of St Kilda, and a second on the Faroe Islands called 'The Land of Maybe', his first major documentary project. It will be exhibited in late 2017 as part of a traveling exhibition alongside the work of Icelandic photographer Ragnar Axelsson.
Boyd's work has been exhibited internationally with solo exhibitions at the Scottish Parliament, as well as group exhibitions at the Royal Academy, Royal Ulster Academy and Royal Scottish Academy. He is also known for his collaborations with poets, such as National Poet of Scotland Edwin Morgan.
His work is held in the collections of the National Galleries of Scotland, The Royal Photographic Society, the Royal Scottish Academy, the V&A, and the Yale Centre for British Art in the US.
© Christine Osinski
For many years I have explored and photographed the thirty-eight small islands and island communities that make up New York City's archipelago. While New York City is the most photographed city in the world, many areas of the city are as unknown and strange as Manhattan is familiar. Most people experience the city only by land and are limited by their understanding of geography. New York City is actually a series of islands. As Manhattan became the most important harbor in the world, and a center of commerce and finance, the coast and smaller islands have functioned a support. Each island has its own unique history, but all of the islands have a feeling of openness, freedom and isolation. From the beginning, while the island of Manhattan was seen as valuable real estate to be forever fought over, the smaller islands became places of exile for social outcasts and refuge for the poor. Some islands were designated as warehouses for the poor, prisons, potters' fields, homeless shelters, military bases and sewage disposal. In the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, city parks, residential structures and nature preserves were added sometimes near toxic waste dumps, juvenile reformatories and even a Nike missile base. Amidst all of this, birds have reclaimed several islands once dominated by heavy industry and small mammals have claimed others. These islands may appear to be remote landscapes, yet they are New York City's backyard and remain an urban paradise for many New Yorkers.
Christine Osinski's work has been included in recent exhibitions at Paris Photo 2016; The Brooklyn Museum; The National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC; Portland Museum of Art, Oregon; The Alice Austen Museum, NYC; Benaki Museum in Athens, Greece; Sasha Wolf Gallery, NYC; and AIPAD. In 2005 Osinski became a Guggenheim Fellow. She received an inaugural photography grant from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation in 2015. Her work has also received support from the New York State Council on the Art, The Graham Foundation and Lightwork among other grants. Photographs and reviews of her work have appeared recently in: The New York Times; The New York Times Sunday Magazine; The New Yorker; BBC News; The Daily Telegraph; The Guardian; The Wall Street Journal; The Atlantic: City Lab; I-D/Vice; Time Light Box; vogue.com; Slate; American Photo; Aperture Photo Book Review; The Boston Globe, American Suburb X; Philadelphia Magazine, as well as in numerous books and other periodicals. Osinski's book, SUMMER DAYS STATEN ISLAND, was published by Damiani in 2015.
Exhibition opening 2nd of September 2.30pm
Exhibition on display till 30 of September.
Working hours: I – V 8am – 6pm
Presidential library – museum of Valdas Adamkus (S. Daukanto str. 25).
Olegas Truchanas the legend of Lithuania and Australia.
© Olegas Truchanas
Olegas Truchanas, the most famous Lithuanian- Australian, was born in Šiauliai in 1923 and died in 1972 during the photographic expedition in Tasmania. He moved to Australia after the second world war and and then settled in Tasmania. His passion for traveling and exploring extended into his photographic practice, which he then used to educate and raise ecological awareness. Whilst still in Lithuania, Olegas learned to care and look after every part of nature, however in Australia at the time nature was seen as a resource to be used. His day job was at a company building hydroelectric power plants, however he dedicated all of his spare time for the care and conservation of Tasmanian landscape, at least through photography. His job didn’t allow him to publicly speak out against the hydroelectric power plants and the effect it has on the landscape. However Olegas Truchanas travelled around the country organizing events, where he would project his photographic slides accompanied by dramatic music, and these were attended by thousands of people. The legend was born.
Mindaugas Kavaliauskas emphasizes that the Olegas Truchanas story is unique, because stunning nature photographs started a powerful community movement, that changed the public view on ecology and conservation, set up nature reserves, and even influenced the change of political powers in Tasmania.
Exhibition opening 7 of September 5pm President Valdas Adamkus present.
Exhibition on display till 31 of October.
Working hours: I – V 10am – 4pm
Kaunas Artists’ House (V. Putvinskio str. 56).
Jussi Puikkonen (Finland) “Sauna Folk”.
© Jussi Puikkonen
For Finns, sauna is simultaneously a sacred and a mundane place. Whether you’re a skinhead, vegan or transvestite, you’re always warmly welcomed onto the benches of sauna. It is a part of the Finnish fortune and folklore, which should be cherished.
Every Finn has his own personal relationship with sauna, but the tradition is often carried out in a group. There are as many different ways to go to sauna as there are people. In Finland there are 3.2 million saunas, more than one sauna per two people. As the sauna is affirmative - we are all naked and sweaty, alone or together - sauna does not value a person.
There is something to be learned from the equalising effect of sauna, especially now during times of increasing inequality. Jussi Puikkonen's series Sauna Folk shows a wide and colourful spectrum of saunas - there are many saunas, sauna folks, sauna landscapes and sauna moments. The sensitivity of Puikkonen’s work displays the controversy, ruggedness, melancholy, beauty, brutality and unevenness of whole Finnish culture. This is genuinely self-reliant and pure, something which is not immediately understood in every corner of the world.
The inspiration for this body of work, Puikkonen got when becoming an emigrant - he has been working in Amsterdam since 2007. "Sauna is something I miss from Finland. It also reflects the local mindset where people are treated equally - or at least I wish they could continue to do so - and everyone can appreciate the sauna experience without regard to the social class or the political orientation. "
When looking at Puikkonen's sauna pictures it’s difficult not to think of what they tell about Finland. The distance from the day-to-day sauna opened the eyes of the photographer to the whole variety and the meaning of sauna. The introvert Finns relax and chatter at least in the sauna.
Jussi Puikkonen (1980) is a natural at capturing the essence of people and scenes. Raised in the Finnish woods, based in Amsterdam, this down-to-earth man of the world effortlessly gets along with everyone from CEOs to sauna champions. Jussi’s artistic work has been featured in museums from Istanbul to Vienna to most important galleries in Helsinki.
He was co-founder of the world most melancholic magazine, Kasino A4, which was awarded a number of domestic and foreign competitions (D & AD, Best of the Year, Top Ten Independent Style Magazines, etc.) He published his first book, On Vacation with Swiss publisher Edition Patrick Frey. The book has received wide international attention.
Jussi has been working commissioned assignments with titles such as Monocle, Dazed and Confused, Bloomberg Businessweek and Die Zeit. He has been awarded as the periodical photographer of the year in Finland.
Exhibition opening 7 of September 5pm
Exhibition on display till 6 of October.
Working hours: I – V 10am – 4pm
Kaunas district museum (Pilies takas 1, Raudondvaris).
Vitus Saloshanka (Belarus/Germany) “Nemunas Juorney”.
© Vitus Saloshanka
Nemunas Journey is a result of the three year work in between three countries: Belarus, Lithuania and Russia. Following the course of Nemunas River, Vitus Saloshanka photographed the changing landscape in the context of historical and political realities of the region. Three parts of the series come together to show how the changes and shifts in political regimes affect the natural urban and suburban scenery. Stunning sunsets illuminate the scenes in pink hues, revealing untamed swamps and bogs in Belarus, and a contrasting concrete jungle in the Kaliningrad region of Russia.
The area around Nemunas in Belarus is a very sparsely populated, forgotten land, where the farming practices and technology remind of the gone era. The fields nearby display an array of grain crops, however locals buy bread from the lorry- shop, that sometimes passes the villages in the area. Belarusian nature, though, especially the swamps and forests around Nemunas source is a very rare wild landscape, not found in Europe.
Portraits from Kaliningrad feature young generation, nearly all neatly dressed in military uniform, whilst groups of civilian youth are watching sun set over the crumbling concrete blocks or playing in backyards that haven't seen a lick of paint in decades. Military mood dominates not only the landscape of Kaliningrad, but is also tangible in the everyday life. Kaliningrad is separated from mainland Russia, and therefore it feels like it guards itself from Europe with concrete walls too.
Lithuanian branch of Saloshanka's photographic journey incorporates an element of humour, dutifully documenting the basketball hoops installed in very unlikely locations: from village sheds and garages to remote empty fields. Still, Saloshanka's lens notices a truck of soldiers in uniform in a serene village square by the church and an old cannon decorating the entry to a small town.
Three different countries, stunning nature, flowing river, new generation, all these components speak of hope, future, regeneration. Yet the military elements picked up by Saloshanka hint at more complex issues, both referring to the past of the region as well as very current tensions.
Vitus Saloshanka (born 1974, Minsk, Belarus) is a photographer based in Germany since 2001. After a degree inn law he realized that he was not happy with his choice and spontaneously turned to photography. From 2004 to 2009 he studied photography at the University of Applied Sciences in Dortmund, Germany. His work has been exhibited widely, including the Museum of Arts Müllheim/Ruhr and the Visual Gallery by Photokina Cologne. In 2011, he was awarded a grant from the Foundation Kulturwek VG Bild-Kunst towards the project “high hopes”, becoming a year later a nominee for Dummy Award 2012 at the Photobookfestival in Kassel. In 2014, Saloshanka’s first free book project “high hopes” was selected for the Authors Book Award in Arles and between 2012-2014 it was exhibited on different book shows in Amsterdam, Brighton, Dortmund, Dublin, Helsinki, Malmö, Paris and Tokyo.
Exhibition opening 9 of September 12pm
Exhibition on display till 8 of October.
Working hours: III – VII 10am – 6pm
Ticket 1 Eur (opening event free of charge).
“POST” gallery (Laisvės av 51 a.).
Group exhibition “Poland Waters”. Tymon Markowski (Bydgoszcz) “Flow”, Filip Cwik (Warsaw) “Sinking industry”, Krzysztof Racoń (Cracow) “Disappearing Lakes”, Dorota Dawidowicz (Warsaw) “Relax”, Adam Wilkoszarski (Poznan) “After season”, works by Kacper Kowalski (Poland), Kuba Kaminski (Warsaw) “Sobering Chamber”.
Exhibition made by support of Polish Institute in Vilnius and Adam Mickiewicz Institute in Warsaw.
More about the exhibition “Polish Waters” here >>
Exhibition opening 19 of September 5pm
Exhibition on display till 8 of October.
Working hours: II – V 12om – 7pm VI 1pm – 6pm
KAUNAS PHOTO 2017 VENUES