#29 THE GREAT FAIL
Architecture through the eyes of Valdas Ozarinskas
Why the talk is inspiring?
In 2018, the Centre for Contemporary Art organised a retrospective exhibition of Valdas Ozarinskas (1961-2014), an architect and artist who worked there for many years, focusing on the question – was Ozarinskas indeed an architect without architecture? Having forcefully and persistently dismantled his ties with the Lithuanian architectural nomenclature at the end of the last century, Ozarinskas became an active participant in the emerging interdisciplinary art scene and was a strong influence on how contemporary art was seen in Lithuania for a long time. Ultimately, though, he also found the art world to be insufficiently – or perhaps too – utopian. Having separated himself from it through impressive poetic gestures, he persisted in his own separate orbit.
This lecture attempts to reconstruct Ozarinskas‘ creative trajectory, which encompassed building, interior and furniture projects, exhibition displays, art campaigns, installations, and conceptual fashion collections, marked by evocative aesthetical gestures and, often, a stance of resistance. Beneath the austere, strange aesthetics, striking for its brilliance and unique sense of humour, and the memory of a warm and eloquent, but publicity-averse creator, we find an architect who cared deeply about architecture and was never really ready to say goodbye to it.
How the speaker is exceptional?
Virginija Januškevičiūtė is a curator, advisor and art critic at the Contemporary Art Centre in Vilnius, a member of the Lithuanian section of the International Association of Art Critics. The subject of this talk is related to her article “Failures. The Black Period of Valdas Ozarinas” which was published in the magazine “Nemunas” in October 2021; she also curated the exhibition ” An Architect without Architecture? A retrospective of Valdas Ozarinas” at the Contemporary Art Centre in Vilnius (2018) and at the gallery Kolektiv 318 at the Cité Radieuse in Marseille (2020).
RECOMMENDS TO READ
About a Mountain
Why the book is worth reading?
The United States is developing a project that should solve the question of how the country’s nuclear waste will be stored in the future: it is suggested to be stored in a giant artificial mountain in the desert near Las Vegas. Is this a good solution? Is it realistic? How did they come up with it? John D’Agatha’s “About a Mountain” is a nonfiction book that reads like a great novel, and some literature critics call it a performance or a spectacular play. It draws the reader into the investigation of a journalist, in which the aforementioned questions soon lead to other ones – about the infrastructure that is being created for the future, about how knowledge circulates and how language works, about the fragility of responsibility and, naturally, about the future of humanity.
I recommend the book in the context of the work of Valdas Ozarinskas, who grew up in Ignalina. This artist and architect was no stranger not only to the themes of large infrastructures, but also to the ability to speak the language of poetry and sometimes ask unanswerable questions.