The 11th edition of the Baltic Triennial of International Art is taking a 12 day event focused exclusively on performance and film. Countering the general tendency of biennials to be pluralist, all-encompassing multi-platforms, the curators choose to channel the contributions of artists through a radically minimized vessel – one human being. The Triennial is entitled after its medium who in his own right carries one of the most common Lithuanian names, Mindaugas.
During the day, Mindaugas (the name alludes to ‘daug menąs’ – much wisdom, ‘daugiamintis’ – the one who has many ideas, or ‘daugio minimas’ – much fame) is operated by a number of artists by way of a set of instructions, script, score, scenario etc. to be played out by Mindaugas during the course of one particular day in the city of Vilnius or nearby surrounding areas.
In the evening, Mindaugas rests, and the ideas that he has embodied during the day appears on a stage at the CAC where a different artist presents a performance each night. The stage represents a dream-state of Mindaugas, a site for even more possibilities. It is called Charismateria.
The performance programme is accompanied by Cinema of the Self, a daily 8-hour programme of contemporary artists’ films dedicated to notions of selfhood and the construction of the self.
Furthermore, the curators commissioned a new film. Produced and screened daily during the Triennial Time Together by Mark Aerial Waller is multi-layered film in 12 episodes. Fiction and ethnography collide, as three onlookers who seem to belong to the crowd, observing Mindaugas, get involved in a spiral of cult entrapment and self-programming. As they encounter different guises of Mindaugas, they start to develop relationships between one another, raising consciousness of the city, the surrounding country and the cosmos. You can watch the episodes here.
Mindaugas Triennial is curated by Defne Ayas, Director of Witte de With, Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam; and Benjamin Cook, Director of LUX, London. By invitation of Defne Ayas the curatorial concept and program is developed together with New York-based artists Ieva Misevičiūtė and Michael Portnoy.
Participating artists: Ed Atkins, Alexandra Bachzetsis, Eric Baudelaire, Neïl Beloufa, Eglė Budvytytė, Steve Cosson (The Civilians), Aslı Çavuşoğlu, Moyra Davey, Oskar Dawicki, Tim Etchells, Luke Fowler, Goodiepal, Ragnar Kjartansson & Davið Þór Jónsson, Adam Kleinman, Valentinas Klimašauskas with Morten Norbye Halvorsen, Ursula Mayer, Benjamin Seror, Rimas Šapauskas, Rania Stephan, Catherine Sullivan & Farhad Sharmini, Marianne Vitale, Mark Aerial Waller, Claude Wampler, Miet Warlop, Hu Xiangqian
24 August – 9 September, 2012
Above – TIME TOGETHER, video project in many episodes by Mark Aerial Waller for Mindaugas Triennial 2012. 12 episodes of a video series set alongside the Triennial. Each day, one short episode is filmed, edited, a presenter filmed in a green screen studio, then aired in the evening at the CAC, Vilnius.
Michael Portnoy performance “100 big entrances” for Mindaugas
Alexandra Bachzetsis “A piece danced alone” at the Mindaugas Triennial opening
Ursula Mayer performance “Gonda” with transgender model Valentijh de Hingh
“Som Faves” by Ivo Dimchev. Courtesy: Rasa Juškevičiūtė and CAC, Vilnius