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In a Time Not Long Past

Exhibition, archive presentation

Programme: Uncategorized

On April 11, queer gallery and archive “išgirsti” opens an exhibition of the artist Anton Karyuk, presenting Neringa Dangvydė’s personal archive. The exhibition is open until April 14 at “išgirsti” (Darbininkų g. 8-1, Vilnius).

“What do I see here? – He exclaimed. – So my gardener is kissing the cook! You have broken the laws of this country, because it is forbidden to love here.”*

“išgirsti” Lithuanian queer archive has received some personal belongings of Neringa Dangvydė, the writer, poet, literary critic, editor, translator and author of the book of fairy tales “Amber Heart”, which has become a symbol of the struggle for freedom of expression of the LGBTQ+ community, in early 2022. These things were doomed to be thrown away or to be scattered in random hands, but, thanks to favourable circumstances, they were lying around for almost a couple of years in Neringa’s room in Užupis, before they were finally noticed and kindly offered to “išgirsti”. Of course some of the items were no longer in the room and some could not be handed over to us, but “išgirsti” received an invaluable collection for the LGBTQ+ community. This personal archive is just beginning to be organised, it will take a long time. However, “išgirsti” would like to slightly open the boxes together with the artist Anton Karyuk and you, remembering Neringa and her quest for justice, commemorating the tenth anniversary of “Amber Heart”, while the laws humiliating the LGBTQ+ community remain in force in Lithuania.

The main part of Neringa’s archive consists of postcards. Some of them are addressed to Neringa, some of them are not addressed to anyone, collected by Neringa herself and not yet sent. They also become the central element of the exhibition. Covered with mirrors, they symbolically create a connection with the visitor, draw them into other worlds, confuse the sense of time, reflect repetition and the need to repeat. The cobwebs of personal jewellery remind us that, by collecting and meditating on memories, it is possible to break the repetition. Spells do not last, enchantments dissipate. When you no longer look back, you look in.

In a time not long past, in a not so faraway country, where books were censored, you could only dream of other worlds. There, good prevails, difficulties are always overcome, naivety and faith are virtues. Worlds where the child is openly and sincerely cared for. Who you want to raise as if a fairy tale could be possible, real. In fairy tales, it is love that usually saves the day. As long as it is not forbidden to love, Neringa’s fairy tale can still end well, and the existence of censorship can remain in a time long past.

“Living in a heteronormative society, I became a schizoid person because I hid too long. Now it’s time to exchange power positions. To confess my orientation publicly. And I am art-oriented, dear colleagues, and I am proud of it, despite being a lesbian fighting for my right to love as strongly and as openly as you.” – In 2012, Neringa cast her spell in the publication “Literature and Art”.

Artist – Anton Karyuk, curators – Augustas Čičelis and Viktorija Kolbešnikova. The texts are read by Modesta Ambrazaitytė, Jūratė Juškaitė, Birutė Sabatauskaitė, Lina Žigelytė.

The exhibition opens on April 11, 16.00–20.00 (come when it’s convenient for you). The exhibition runs on April 12–14, 16.00–19.00. The address: “išgirsti”, Darbininkų g. 8-1 (open entrance, three steps up), Vilnius.

The event is partially funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture.

*Excerpt from Neringa Dangvydė’s book “Amber Heart” (the gardener and the cook are written in the feminine form in the Lithuanian text).

Happening

April 11–14, 2024, 16.00–19.00
išgirsti, Darbininkų g. 8-1, Vilnius

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