The different ecological themes have transformed this year’s Project Zone into an open and audience-engaging “city within a city” meta-ecosystem. Today, the term ecology can be interpellated in a very broad and at the same time problematic way – intertwined with (bio)politics, economics, power divisions, information, or other circulatory systems. In the context of the war in Ukraine, it has become evident that ecology is not only about maintaining an imaginary regime of sustainability, but also about struggles against powers and ideologies that are openly or covertly inclined towards repressive or fictitious regressive pasts. Against the backdrop of a world drowning in the flames of war and climate change, Delirious Bodies will therefore tell the story of human, animal, planetary, performative, information systems, and other bodies.
Accordingly, this year’s focus is on historical artists who have authentically incorporated ecology into their work. For example, the recently deceased queer feminist Natalia LL (1937-2022, Poland) linked patriarchy to consumerism in a series of queer erotic works. The MOCAK Museum in Krakow, which is presenting them, continues its presentation with the feminist video-manifesto work Moments of Pleasure (Momenti di piacere) by Valentina Miorandi (Italy). In the Contemporary Art Center area, we will find a new stage installation Injured Wind by Robertas Narkus, who is currently representing Lithuania at the Venice Art Biennale. The Lewben Art Foundation presents a speculative group exhibition from the perspective of an octopus, Do octopuses dream people?. In the project Studies, the students of the Vilnius Academy of Arts doctoral program reveal parts of their practical research. The Jonas Mekas Visual Arts Center shows Jonas Mekas’ diary 365 days, divided into 12 months and obelisks, which also acts as a kind of reminder of the cyclical nature of the world and the year and the in an increasingly unbalanced world.
In the individual presentations of the artists’ projects, Danas Aleksa installed a giant-sized Chandelier, for which he collected shards from an abandoned building in Vilnius, as if to remind us that cities look at us through the openings of broken windows. The chandelier embodies the city as a closed circle, a brutal cultural cycle in which what is being created and built is constantly connected to what is being lost or destroyed. Oleksiy Radinski’s (Ukraine) video Circulation is a moving panorama of three years of Kyiv compressed into ten minutes. Madeleine Andersson’s (Sweden) video projection is like a borehole into the petro- or oil ecology and the related critique of consumption. Anna K.E. (Georgia) and Florian Meisenberg’s (Germany) work is a dialogical collaborative commentary on semi-open information systems and their distribution. The honeycomb-like installation by Marija Žiemytė (Lithuania), with its graceful forms and a strive for metaphysical harmony, should be discovered by following the smell of honeycomb.