Outdoor exhibitions

“Out of the water” outdoor exhibition by Berta Tilmantaitė, Chechnya square

International photography festival KAUNAS PHOTO, now counting it’s 14th edition, continues the tradition of outdoor exhibitions started in 2014. Kaunas city residents and city visitors will be treated to a number of photography shows dotted around the city.

The open air exhibition of KAUNAS PHOTO 2017 will take place in the following locations: Chechnya Square, the base of Kaunas Castle, Vienybės (Unity) Square, courtyard at the 57 Juozapavičius prospect, and the foot of Žaliakalnis hill funicular railway.


Todd Johnson (Australia) "Fossils"

© Todd Johnson (Australia) “Fossils” Film buried for 6 months, 3 weeks and 2 days

„Fossils“ is presented in the context of this year’s festival theme „Water“. This series is a result of  a collaboration in between the artist and nature. The displayed photographs are prints from photographic slides, that were submerged in water for a prolonged period of time. Affected by moisture, minerals and contamination the slides displayed transformations in colour and texture. This direct link in between photography and water speaks of beauty and chaos found in nature.

Normally the captions of photographic works provide the details about the type of film or camera used, technical parameters like shutter speed, aperture, film speed or the type of lens.
Todd Johnson chooses the unconventional way of making marks on photographic material and provides us with the detailed description of his method. The duration for which the light sensitive surface is exposed to light determines the image. One hundredth or even a one thousandth of a second is enough to capture the moment photographically.

However the captions for “Fossils” series give us the information on exposure lasting as long as weeks, months and years, during which the soil, water and moisture slowly carve the image into a film. Time in photography is comparable to running water, sharing the beauty and effects of erosion. The cracked image surface resembles paintings and the materiality of the medium.

Todd Johnson is an Australian artist and educator who lectures in photography at Deakin University, MIBT and Australian Catholic University. His research interests include photographic authorship, indexicality and materialism in the digital age. Todd Johnson has exhibited his work nationally and internationally. He has published his work in numerous international journals and magazines such as „Sneaky Magazine“, „Art Ascent: International Art Journal“, „Blame Magazine“ and „Aint Bad Magazine“.


Berta Tilmantaitė (Lithuania) "Out of the water"

© Berta Tilmantaitė "People of the Ocean"

Humans originated in water. They are born out of water. Our bodies are made up of water. Most of the surface of the Earth is covered in water. Big part of humanity lives near water, from water and even on the water.

However oceans of the world are suffering decreasing levels of oxygen and increasing acidity, they are covered in plastic and other rubbish. Harmful substances leak into rivers and oceans poisoning living creatures, whilst climate change causes storms, floods and droughts.

Coral reefs of the Red Sea and Coral Triangle are changing and disappearing. Numerous colourful fish are gone. The waters are becoming murky, corals are turning pale, plastic bags and discarded bottles outnumber the fish. On the shore locals are struggling to make a living. Having lived in close coexistence with nature  for centuries, they now find it hard to source drinking water or catch fish for food.

Shark and whale hunting, melting ice caps, Great Barrier Reef declared dead: these may seem like distant events. Far from Lithuania, they might seem not related to us, not about us and have no impact on local life here. However in nature everything is connected in unpredictable ways, therefore environmental crisis is our crisis too.

These photographs from three different continents document the close relationship in between humanity and water, and concerns for our planet's future.  Pictures from Peru show locals collecting cochayuyo seaweed, rich in minerals, vitamins and amino acids and considered to be one of the most nutritious foods in the world. The coastal areas of Peru are not suitable for agriculture, therefore collecting seaweed and fishing are the only ways to make a living.

The series made in China explores Yongding river in Beijing. The river is made up of 6 lakes,  connected by channels through which water can flow. After reaching the southernmost point of the river, some of the water will be pumped north to circulate again. Yongding river water is trapped behind the Sanija dam, in Beijing's Mentougou district. In the past, water from the dam would flow south from here, but the amount of water flowing into the dam decreased so much that the flow dried up due to pollution and dry climate.

Reportage from Malaysia features sea nomads. Bajau tribe spend their whole lives in boats in the sea. Fishing is their only way of making a living, often involving women and children selling the catch to locals, tourists and hotels. However factors like commercial fishing, rising sea levels and unpredictable weather conditions make this way of life increasingly difficult, forcing Bajau people to move onshore.

The series „Guano“ features locals in Chille collecting seabird excrements for sale as a valued fertiliser. This is not only a challenge in the 40 degree heat, but also highly illegal. The island in the Pacific ocean is the breeding place for many species of birds, including penguins, therefore any human activity including the collecting of guano, is forbidden.

Photographs made in Africa document life around the lake Victoria. Victoria is the biggest lake in Africa and the world's second largest fresh water lake by surface area. It is divided in between 3 countries: 51% belongs to Tanzania, 43% to Uganda and only 6% to Kenya. Even this small part is vital in Kenya's regional economy providing natural resources, minerals and food. Lake Victoria is suffering from irresponsible fishing, pollution, and from invasive species of animals and plants. It is predicted that there will be no more fish in the lake in 5 years time, and the locals will lose a vital source of income.

Berta Tilmantaitė is a freelance multimedia journalist, working on documentaries internationally. Her work explores the themes of human rights, culture and environment and relationship in between humans and nature. Berta has a BA in journalistic studies from Vilnius University, Lithuania. She also studied at the Danish School of Media and Journalism and received her Masters from Bolton and Beijing Foreign Studies University. She is a lecturer at the Vilnius University and Vilnius Gediminas Technical University and a cofounder of Nanook, the only documentary multimedia platform in Lithuania.  Berta's works have been published in National Geographic, GEO,  Al Jazeera and other international publications. She has received numerous awards including Sony World Photography Awards, LUMIX young photojournalist award, Lithuanian Press Photography competition. Berta has diving and freediving licenses, which she uses when making work underwater. She travels constantly to find new stories.


Outdoor exhibitions on display till 31 of October.


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