WHAT YOU HAVE TOLD ME
Artwork by Eglė Žostautaite media installation by Emilija Višinskaitė
For the exhibition What you have told me Lithuanian artists Eglė Žostautaite and Emilija Višinskaitė describe their search for life’s purpose and meaning in Athens. The artists have applied walking as an anthropological method for studying urban culture and to analyze the perceptions that we have of both ourselves and of others. For Eglė and Emilija this project takes the ever-evolving history of Athens into context as they explore such fundamental questions as : Why are we here? What do I seek?
For Eglė, this takes the form of a goal: walk the same path from home to the Acropolis and back every day. She has monitored the changes in the environment and the daily routines and actions of its actors. This ritual allowed her to closely examine the changing character of the city and the characters that populate it. Through her paintings, she brings into focus hints of the sublime beauty amidst the rugged difficulties and challenges of modern-day Athens.
For Emilija who has a background in scenography and theater, the focus was upon the extraordinary coincidences and recurrences of the everyday. She paid special attention to the history of Greece and its contemporary voice(s) as it is manifested in graffiti art. This “writing on the wall” serves as vitally important indicators for action and reflection. These cues from urban folk allow her to convey with heightened awareness the recurring patterns that form a consciousness and awareness that are popular and sublime within the city.
What you have told me follows in the philosophical lignée of Aristotelian philosophy and the writings of Heidegger. The artists depict Athens in a focus and heightened state-that has its underpinnings in the writings of Camus and René Daumal. These were writers who had actually used dislocated orientation as a point of reference in their perspective in the aftermath of the 2nd world war. This body of work is particularly poignant for it stands as an act of both questioning and free-expression, one that is intensified by the awareness we carry with us as our European neighbors continue to be besieged.