Artyčok Recommends

13th of June, 2012. Plank Bar, Frankfurt

Vyte: Viena alaus.
Vytas: Prasau (strongly surprised by the order in Lithuanian)
Vyte: tu Vytas?
Vytas: Jo. O tu?
Vyte: Vyte
Vytas: Is kur tu?
Vyte: As irgi mokausi Städelschule, curatorial studies. o siaip is Vilniaus. Siandiena buvo parodos atidarymas. Pala, nerandu pinigines…
Vytas: As statau.1

Vytas, could you please make this thick cloud disappear

I knew there was one more Lithuanian student in the school. He was said to be tall, to work at Plank and to hold the name Vytas. This name-game: I found it funny and was curious. My name is an artificially feminised form of one of the most common Lithuanian masculine names: Vytas. God bless my creative parents!
We had fun from the very beginning. We soon discovered that we shared the same nostalgic, yet sarcastic image of our Motherland and this love-hate relation to it, as well as critical and playful approach to curating practice and art. We still laugh a lot about it all and about us in it. When I talk to Vytas, I sometimes feel that we are still children. And it is not only because the Lithuanian we use so seldom year after year becomes more infantile. It is more that we always insist on doing our own thing, despite the mighty art context and market that whisper to do it right. But children resist this pressure. They naively believe in their wishes and phantasies.
This innocent belief is what makes the difference and creates authenticity. Vytas enjoys what he does and sincerely believes in it, which creates both a positive energy and trust around his work. Vytas makes you trust him. He is a nice guy. And heavy discursive clouds of the mighty context would never aid one to understand his artistic approach while labeling would only reduce it rather than explain it. Is Vytas work relational, self-referential, performative, interactive? Yes, it is. And why so? It is not that important. You allow Vytas bind your eyes with the yellow scarf, you take a hand of the person next to you, build a row and move carefully in darkness hand in hand forwards. Alone, but also together (performance/installation, Prince Poppycock, 2012). After this exciting journey, you are allowed to see the daylight and you find yourself in a circle, which turns under the shrill sounds of lip harmonica and hypnotic rhythm of artist’s voice. Collective trance, artistic instrumentalisation of a spectator? Is it political or is it only fun? Maybe it could be both, but is it really possible? If you start thinking of what you are actually doing there or what it means, you can simply fall down, because the circle is turning. If you let yourself go, I suppose, you can gain more. But you can gain it, only if you trust and if you are not afraid to be cheated ;)

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