March 12 – 22 gallery’s VARTAI daily activities will be interupted by an ephemeral piece Wolfgang, is that you? by Ugnius Gelguda and Neringa Černiauskaitė.
During an upcoming exhibition by Patricija Jurkšaitytė, Dutch Stories, the gallery VARTAI spaces will be unexpectedly filled with music. It will seep from the closed door of the gallery’s viewing room, where a black grand piano now stands surrounded by artworks. The pianists’ fingers will accost the keys of the grand piano, which will address the viewers. These encounters will be left to chance; the gallery-goers that walk around the show during the unscheduled performances will be as large an audience as the grand piano will have.
The black grand piano has witnessed the development of the contemporary art scene in Lithuania while being pushed around five rooms of the gallery VARTAI throughout the gallery’s twenty year history. It has served as a musical instrument, but has more frequently been a surface for displaying hand-outs and a pedestal for objects, opening-bouquets, and wine-glasses. The music it emitted were attentively listened to in concerts; otherwise, its massive, black body was hidden from exhibition viewers in white boxes, similar to the white rooms of the gallery. It is impossible to overlook it in the growing collection of images from exhibition openings and displays and the “behind-the-scenes” of everyday life in the gallery. Surrounded by artworks, the grand piano has followed their come-and-go, as the easel paintings were substituted by videos, and the jewelry, by installations.
The grand piano now stands in the gallery’s viewing room, behind the closed doors of a temporary wall, a non-legitimized piece of art amongst others. Wolfgang, is that you? brings to focus this silent witness an inseparable part of the history of the gallery and of Lithuanian contemporary art. Its testimonies, however, can only be heard in notes, as an accompaniment to displayed artworks.
Only a photographic document will remain from these ephemeral encounters of the grand piano and the listeners of his testimonies. It will serve as a certification of the grand piano becoming an art piece, its inscription in the history of contemporary art.
Ugnius Gelguda and Neringa Černiauskaitė started collaborating in 2009. Their shows include: Solo to the Photography Gallery, Vilnius Photography Gallery, Vilnius (2009), Now More Than Ever, Contemporary Art Center, Vilnius (2012), Space Travellers, ar/ge Kunst, Bolzano, Italy (2013). Both artists are based in Brooklyn, New York.
Music program - Viktorija Rimėnaitė.