Dainius Liskevicius

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Article

Strategies for interaction

Lithuanian artist, Dainius Liskevicius has gained recognition for his inventive exploration of interdisciplinarity, seeking out new forms and ways of communicating his ideas. Born in 1970, a graduate of Vilnius Academy of Art, he lives and works in Vilnius. He has exhibited widely and his work is often presented in a live form as video and photo performances, both in formal galleries and public spaces. He views the artist as ´an active player of public space´.
Described by curator and art critic Lolita Jablonskiene as ´one of the most interesting figures on the contemporary Lithuanian art scene´, Dainius Liskevicius lives and works in Vilnius. He was born in 1970 and a graduate of the Department of Sculpture at Vilnius Academy of Arts.

He works in installation, objects, performance, video, sound and photography. The idea suggests the medium and the artist often uses an interdisciplinary approach. Liskevicius comments, ´I am interested in the actions and experiences of people. My works are communicative not to a small circle of intellectuals but to the widest of audiences.´

Liskevicius takes a carefully defined strategy:

´The artist appears as an active player of public space. At the same time he is not someone to be engaged in direct criticism of society. He is not searching for the political experience of the avant-garde of the 1920s or conceptual art of the 1960s. An artist is not a guerrilla or a terrorist He has no wish to change the social order or formulate another utopia of a better life. He is more like an alternative politician who knows the rules of the game and organises his strategy according to them. He does not really want to be an outsider and the main point of his strategy is to attract the attention first and pass the message afterwards.´

An example of the artist´s way of working is ‘The Centres of the World / Enjoy Yourself’, an ongoing project he started in 1999. He has presented as a photo performance in galleries and arts institutions in the Netherlands, Finland, Poland, Latvia, Sweden and Lithuania, at Art in General, New York and the Fotografie Forum International in Frankfurt. The project consists of short performances in which the artist stands on his head for around a minute at random sites – public spaces, offices, streets etc. The title refers to ancient ideas about the structure of the world: when standing on his head, the artist is actually holding up the planet. The human head is the centre of the world. The artist appears as someone who delicately alters the everyday situation. The performances are a metaphor for a virtual overturn happening in your mind. The project is continued in every country the artist visits (around 400 photos to date documenting each action).

Another recent project illustrates Dainius Liskevicius’ engagement with different aspects of society. During 2001, Liskevicius saw many theatres in Lithuania from the inside after joining an independent stage production as a professional dancer. He produced ‘Spaces’, a series of C-prints, photographing the empty salons of some of the best known theatres in different Lithuanian cities. He seems to offer these interiors as a metaphor for looking at ourselves – and perhaps to remind us that the state remains unseen by those who use it.

Liskevicius explores different aspects of human identity and core cultural values: religion, death, contemporary reality - technology and mass culture and private spheres of home, leisure and travel. He was shortlisted for the Visiting Arts/Spike Island International Fellowship 2002 on the nomination of Lolita Jablonskiene.
Author: Judith Staines

Bio

Dainius Liskevicius was born in 1970 in Kaunas, Lithuania and lives and works in Vilnius. He was educated in the Department of Sculpture at Vilnius Academy of Arts (1991-96). In 1994, while still an undergraduate, he was awarded the prize for the most interesting young artist in the Annual Exhibition of the Soros Centre for Contemporary Arts, Lithuania. Since graduation he has exhibited widely, often presenting his work as photo and video performances as well as installation, wall drawing and other forms. He has had solo exhibitions in Lithuania and at the Baltic Art Center in Visby, Sweden.

Works

GROUP EXHIBITIONS (Selected)

Exhibition / Installation,
2003
2003 ´Parallel Progressions-3´, Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius 2002 ´Lithuanian Insight: Photography 1960 to Now´, photo performance, Fotografie Forum International, Frankfurt/Main 2001 1st Valencia Biennial, video performance, Valencia, Spain 2001 ´Fluxus at Art in General´, photo performance, New York 2001 ´Self Esteem´, Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius 2001 ´Too Close, Too Distant´, video performance, Grand Hall of Riga, Latvia 2001 ´Mail Art´, Fundacao de Serralves, Porto, Portugal 2000 ´Later; You will come in´, Stuttgart Academy of Fine Arts Gallery, Stuttgart 2000 ´Port of Art´, site specific project, Kotka, Finland 1999-2000 Baltic Biennial of Contemporary Art, Tour to Castle of Pomeranian Dukes, Szczecin, Poland; Gallery NOASS, Riga, Latvia; Baltic Art Centre, Visby, Sweden 1997 ´Europe > Humanisme´, FRAC Alsace, Selestat, France 1997 ´Lithuanian Dialogues´, Stazione Marittima, Trieste, Italy 1994 ´Bread and Salt´, Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius; College of Art, Edinburgh; Cornerhouse, Manchester, UK

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

Exhibition / Installation,
2003
2002 ´Timer/8 sec´, photo and video installation, Gallery Arteritorija, Kaunas, Lithuania (with Nene Livbjerg) 2002 Performance ´15 minutes´, Gallery Arteritorija, Kaunas, Lithuania 1999 ´In/Out´, installation, Baltic Art Center, Visby, Sweden 1998 ´Metaphysical Unpleasantness´, DDD environment, artists studio, Vilnius, Lithuania (with D. Bastys and D. Jankauskas) 1996 ´God - Spiritual Attraction of a Man´, installation, Jutempus Gallery, Vilnius, Lithuania 1994 ´Migration´, store window installation, Honda showroom, Vilnius

Merits

1998 NIFCA Artists Residency, Helsinki, Finland

Projects

This artist took part in the following project(s) organized/funded by the culturebase.net partner institutions.

Spike Island International Fellowship 2002

(30 October 01 - 30 July 02)

Www

Contemporary Art Centre, Lithuania

images
Dainius Liskevicius
The Centers of the World / Enjoy Yourself
Dainius Liskevicius
The Centers of the World / Enjoy Yourself
Dainius Liskevicius
The Centers of the World / Enjoy Yourself
Dainius Liskevicius
Spaces
Dainius Liskevicius
Labyrinth I/II