13TH KAUNAS BIENNIAL EXHIBITION "ONCE UPON ANOTHER TIME..GYVENO JIE JAU KITAIP"A. Žmuidzinavičius Creations and Collections Museum / Devils Museum
After the closing of the 13th Kaunas Biennial exhibition "Once Upon Another Time...gyveno jie jau kitaip", three artworks, commisssioned for the Kaunas Biennial, remains in the museum.
Lina Lapelytė (Lithuania), What happens with a dead fish?, 2021
Presented as a video installation spread over three floors of the Devil’s Museum, What happens with a dead fish? is the re-envisioning of a performance created by the artist.
The videos feature an amateur choir performing songs about the afterlife and what it means to slowly be swallowed by and disappear into one’s environment. Here, the media installation reveals what remained partially hidden – that which lies beyond what see through the reflective watery surface. Bodies, appearing as if cut in half, jump and swim in the water, partially abstracted by the force of their movements. A flight of custom-made ceramic boxes and bowls which originally framed and amplified the performance have become seating and traces of the event, embodying the idea of fragility and finitude.
Shary Boyle (Canada), The Trampled Devil, 2021
The Trampled Devil re-imagines the missing body of St Michael the Archangel from the sculpture of the same name, as performed by the artist using animation techniques on an overhead projector, hand-made theatre props, and her own costumed characters.
The film, conceived as a site-specific narrative, completes the statue all the while complicating its original narrative of good triumphing over evil. An archetypal cast of characters – the White Witch, Vampire Bat, Devil, Crone and “Warbanks”, a finance CEO who looks suspiciously like Andy Warhol – shape-shift through negotiation, trickery and magical exchange.
A cautionary tale, The Trampled Devil embodies the troubling ambiguity of our species: suggesting that only through vigilance and an honest heart might we hope to keep our inner devils pinned eternally beneath our better natures.
Video, 12 minutes, 20 seconds
written, directed and performed by Shary Boyle
Commissioned for the Kaunas Biennial, 2021
CAMERA John Price
EDITOR Ehsan Gharib
STUDIO ASSISTANCE Alexa MacKenzie and Jenna Purnell
SET HAND Jenna Purnell
Photo by Martynas Plepys