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Collective art exhibition from Kaunas International TEXTILE 07 Biennial

2008 March 28 @ 17:00 - 2008 May 3 @ 12:00

Nov 30th, 2007: The Art Biennial, Textile 07 opened in the city of Kaunas, in Lithuania.  The 6th International Biennial, Textile 07, exhibited last in Kaunas after a 3 month run. This year the Biennial encompassed different cultural, social and artistic themes with a vast amount of exciting and creative impulses.

Since 1997, the International Textile Exhibition takes place every two years in Kaunas city and is organized by two enthusiastic women; Vita Geluniene and Virginija Vitkiene. Themes, operation guidelines and artistic strategies take a great amount of time to plan and execute.  In the Biennial show that lasted three months there were four international exhibitions, satellite events, educational and research programs and commissions. One of the first satellite events took place in the Kedainiai community of October 25 – December 8, 2007 at the Janina Monkute-Marks Museum.  We were introduced to the artwork of the founding fathers of textile, Juozas Balcikonis and Vladislovas Daujotas. These knot carpets and tapestries were on loan to the museum by local Lithuanian museums. 

One of the Biennial satellite exhibits was “Black Light.”  Guests were exhilarated as they toured the exposition in the Kaunas Castle. The exposition made use of untraditional ways of displaying art.  The “Black Light” exposition traveled later to Kedainiai for guests there to enjoy.

At this years Biennial exhibit we held a competition to find the most creative or unusual textile creation. Three Lithuanian artists were awarded prizes. The Janina Monkute-Marks Excellence Award was presented to a young artist, Agniete Janusaite for her work titled “Sterilus.”  Her concept revolved around the question, “Would you like to see politicians faces clearly?” She chose to feature Vytautas Landzbergis, Vladimir Putin and George Bush in her artwork.  Runners up were Naglis Rytis Baltusnikas for his work “Give me-Take it” and Vladas Orzekauskas for his work “Cosmopolitan: The Lady without the Unicorn.”  All three artists were first time participants in the Biennial.

Vita Geluniene, an organizer of Biennial, describes the guidelines. The aim of Biennial is to find ways to get the attention of the community or city.  Biennial is localized – this is the Kaunas City Biennial. The particular city becomes the backbone of the show.

Textile 07 is the second intercontinental biennial model. The shows organizers hope to use its model in future shows.  In 2009, the organizers of Biennial hope to bring South East Asian Art (Thailand, Vietnam, Brim and Singapore) and Textiles to the show.