Past Exhibitions

The Antenave. The Last Elevation 2018 10 01

“The Antenave. The Last Elevation” by Gediminas Pranckūnas is the ninth exhibition of photographs by this artist presenting works created in the last two years: 60 images from 45 Catholic churches of Lithuania. The photographs capture the part of the church where one usually does not linger: it is a rather inconspicuous space preceding or adjacent to the main nave, often holding church flags covered with cases, procession altars, random pieces of furniture, mirrors, old rugs, and viewing stands called catafalques.

The exhibition also includes three valuable works of sacral art – black shrouds used in funerary liturgy with religious symbols from the collections of the Church Heritage Museum. In this way, both the exhibition’s architecture and content, and the mourning artefacts emphasise the metaphor of the antenave as the last elevation.

The researcher of photography Agnė Narušytė notes that Gediminas Pranckūnas “tries to take a close look at the table-like nature of the ‘last elevations’, as if the answers to the great questions of existence and non-existence could be found there. The elevations are hiding – behind the hanging Crucifix, behind the columns, under the bedspreads, under the stairs, in the darkness. The existential questions are hiding as well. They pretend to be objects, borrowing their reality and aesthetics, insistently testifying that we are actually concerned about this architecture of our temporary abode. By praising the nobility of death with their artistic form, these elevations also memorialise us as the beings that created it all, that have reflected on the meaning of life and death and are sensitive to the pain of others.”

“Yet, photography is a ruthless thing. It captures everything – the consonances of twisted lines, scratches, and the sad and humiliated stationing of an elevation in the corner. To me, it betrays the photographer’s light irony, perhaps a slight smile as he faces the ignobility of mundane details surrounding death, which exposes the efforts to place emphasis on death so that the decaying body would be forgotten. So that one would not need to think about ‘everything turning into nothing’ – all matter alike. Particularly when you look from the perspective of nascent, growing, perishing and rejuvenating nature, from the distant universe indifferent to this entire cycle. If the antenave is just a ‘transitory zone’, then life provided with all these things is also just a transitory zone, in which we are not going to linger.”

Gediminas Pranckūnas (b. 1958) studied painting at the Vilnius Art Institute (today, the Vilnius Academy of Arts), graduating in 1988. He held 16 solo exhibitions, eight of which are photographic.

The exhibition at the Church Heritage Museum will be open until November 17.

Sponsors: Lithuanian Council for Culture, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania
More information: tel. 8 5 269 7800, el. p. muziejus@bpmuziejus.lt






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