Lithuania-Poland-Russia ENPI Cross-border Co-operation Programme 2007-2013
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Exhibition “Close stranger”

6 p.m. 25th April, 2014 will be opened an exhibition “Close stranger” at Klaipeda Culture Cummunication Centre.

The works presented in the exhibition are created while residing in Klaipeda (Lithuania), Gdansk (Poland) and Kaliningrad (Russia) by the artists of the three mentioned participating countries.

Thus the title suggests us that the artworks reflect the peculiarities of geographically close though not too familiar countries. These distinctions are revealed within the social, historical and variety of other events combined with personal experiences inspired by the sense of communion collected at the time of visits.

Polish artist A. Fojtuch remarks that an acquaintance with a Lithuanian or Russian gives a sense of a longtime friendship, though the encounters are not so frequent. The things that set us apart are also the things that unite us. Collective consciousness, – resumes the artist, in her performance pointing to the cartoon “Just you wait!” – one of the most popular soviet childhood icons of several generations. There she notes the symbiotic relationship of the big and strong with the small and weak.

Some of the topics explored in the works are taken from the casual and typical commonness of the particular region. Thus taken into the sight of the artist, this commonness becomes intensively silver-tongued. The “Close Stranger” mosaic is composed of the variety of sightings and stories, fusing the St. Johns church in Memel, the Prussian tradition of bridge builders, the shopping trips of Kaliningrad residents to Lithuania and Poland, the feeling of the lost Konigsberg, Lady Alexandra – the saleswoman of the souvenir kiosk at the Gdansk shipyard – decorating the gates of the ‘Solidarity’ movement cradle with live flowers.

In 2013, part of the month of May I spent in artists’ residence in Gdansk. You would ask – why? Because of the smart art centers of the three port cities merged for the united project. The details of this project do not interest me much. What really concern me are the ports and the seas with all the compounding elements. And yes, the contrabands and mermaids are counted – points out the participant of the exhibition M. Vosyliūtė in the report of the residence.

“And I was truly surprised by the accuracy of the exhibition title “Close Stranger”, describing our relationship. It would not have occurred to me that this path of minor 600 kilometers is so incredibly complex. If we would represent this way by drawing a line between two points, it would merely measure 200 kilometers, though reality shows that in no possible way this path could be straight” – states Polish artist A. Gogołkiewicz.

The common purpose of the “Close Stranger” project is to develop contemporary culture exchange and promote mutual understanding between the people of Gdansk (Poland), Kaliningrad (Russia) and Klaipeda (Lithuania). The project also involves the aim of facilitation of the trilateral exchange and the spread of the information on contemporary art, social and cultural issues among the territory of the project – Russia, Poland and Lithuania.

Lithuania is represented by Laura Garbštienė, Remigijus Treigys, Marta Vosyliūtė, Nerijus Jankauskas, Jurga Barilaitė, Laura Zala; Russia – by Jegor Lucsev, Grigoriy Selski, Alekseiy Cebykin, Oleg Bliablias, Juriy Vasilyev, Aleksandr Liubin; Poland is represented by – Agata Nowosielska, Angelika Fojtuch, Piotr Wyrzykowskiy, Jacek Niegoda, Julita Wójcik and Artur Gogołkiewicz.

Organizers: Klaipeda Culture Cummunication Centre, Gdansk Centre for Contemporary Arts «Laznia», Kaliningrad contemporary art centre
Duration: 25 04 2014-29 05 2014

The exhibition „Close Stranger“ is a part of the project “Close Strangerpromoting mutual understanding between population of GdanskKaliningrad and Klaipeda through facilitation of exchange in the field of contemporary arts and culture“ implemented within the framework of „ENPI Cross-border Cooperation programme 2007-2013 for Lithuania, Poland and Russian Federation“, where KCCC participates as a partner.