CURATORIAL WORK



31 08 2024 → 01 10 2024 (forthcoming)

A solo exhibition of Tabita Rezaire in Aikas Žado Laboratory, Žeimiai Manor House, Žeimiai, Lithuania. 



07 08 2024 → 31 08 2024 (forthcoming)

A solo exhibition of Emilija Povilanskaitė in VU Observatory of Ideas, Vilnius, Lithuania.



18 05 2024 → 02 06 2024

The curator of the group exhibition “(Hope)stalgic materialities and wishful horizons” in Governors Island, New York City, USA. 

In the RU House on Governors Island (NYC), Residency Unlimited opens a group exhibition (Hope)stalgic materialities and wishful horizons, presenting the works of six international artists who spent the last few months nurturing their artistic practices in New York City. They are: Mihael Klanjčić (Croatia), Anna Nemes (Hungary), Ivie Ada Onaiwu (Switzerland), Siahne Rogers(Australia), Ai Sugiura (Japan), and Beyza Dilem Topdal (Turkey). This exhibition is curated by Eglė Ambrasaitė.

Scholarly works on nostalgia notice that the term should be addressed in a more nuanced way and proposes to embrace it as an affective reservoir (Odak, 2024)*. In this group exhibition, the featured artists reassess nostalgia as “an important […] aspect of the radical imagination” (Bonnett, 2010:1)* and embody it as a source of artistic and socio-political perspective for a (wishful) future. Hence, (hope)stalgia here is grasped as “a mode of temporality, a cognitive and affective relation to time and a way to approach the relationships among historicity, presentism, and futurity” (Weeks 2011:186)*. For example, deep diving into poetics of wishful thinking according to critical affect theory, Siahne Rogers introduces us to their video work and new body of canvases that offer playful speculations on the process of making and coming-to-reality of our dreams. In a similar manner, by playing with the understanding of what is place-ness and what it means to be and to belong, in her photographic collage, Ai Sugiura, showcases a fantasy memoryscape, based on observing everyday locationalities of New York City’s sidewalks inscribed with various different titles and symbols. Correspondingly, Mihael Klanjčić works with the re-imagining of daily life objects’ time-scapes and in his sculptural installation, addresses the (hope)stalgic materiality of one of New York city’s iconic symbols. In her current artistic practice, Anna Nemes gently builds around the drag community in Brooklyn and through her new video, sculptural and canvas pieces aims to expand the boundaries of drag through the lenses of post-humanist thought. Similarly, Beyza Dilem Topdal embraces post-humanist theories to study both past, present and future of non-human Turkish marine life entanglements. With the help of AI technologies, her immersive works portray a speculative ethnography for world-building futuristic more-than-human kinships. Finally, Ivie Ada Onaiwu presents three large-scale textile-carpet-paintings offering us to see the carpets both as carriers of history and as a hopeful horizon for the possibility of feeling-at-home, being-safe-and-soft, and belonging.

*Bonnett, Alastair. 2010. Left in the Past: Radicalism and the Politics of Nostalgia. New York: Continuum.
*Odak, Petar. 2024. Forthcoming.
*Weeks, Kathi. 2020. The Problem with Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics, and Postwork Imaginaries. Durham: Duke University Press.





12 08 2023 → 01 11 2023
The curator of the solo exhibition “Angsty Places”, Aikas Žado Laboratory, Žeimiai Manor House. 


Participating artists: duo CASE ((Ieva Lygnugarytė (LT) & Xavier Mitchell (NYC, US))

Curator of the exhibition: Eglė Ambrasaitė
Architect of an exhibition: Domas Noreika
Designer of the exhibition: Aušra Vismantaitė-Silva
Font: Gailė Pranckūnaitė
Images: Enrika Stanulevičiūtė

CASE is an artist duo based in New York whose work comprises video, performance, and found objects. Their practice aims to open up a line of inquiry concerning the following questions: How much space is each individual entitled to? How can we employ acts of micro resistance within the confines of contemporary life? Can we effectively intervene in public/private space with poetry? Can we open up the use of discarded objects as a vernacular that traces the global flow of social, and material production?


“Angsty Places”
There exists an old Ethiopian proverb saying that “Fish discover water last”. The only way for the fish to discover water is if it leaves its ‘normal’ habitat: the river, lake, pond or ocean it is immersed in. Thinking with the proverb, what are our assumptions concerning the reality that surrounds us - the beauty and frailty of our perceptions? How can we tackle the “givens” or “unquestioned norms”? How can we comprehend the “unknown unknowns”? And what happens if we leave the pre-established: what dies and what is reborn? Can, through a mutual disappearance and re-appearance of the sight, the diverse sight, immerse?

Touching upon these questions with kind observation, the works of the duo CASE invite us to navigate through our sights, habitats and troubles differently. To remove our heads out of the familiar. To glimpse into what lurks beyond, both out of and into our own personal angsty places.


Solo exhibition is formed of 1) video installation, and 2) performance

1. Winter Garden (2023)

Two Channel Video installation

Winter Garden highlights how climate denial is practiced through the production of artificial snow at ski resorts. As the global temperatures have increased drastically, resulting in shorter skiing seasons every year, artificial snow is produced in order to elongate the winter sports season, and continue the acquisition of capital in the midst of changing climate.

2. Sideworks: Manor House (2023)

Performance (can be seen only during the opening of the exhibition (2023.08.12 from 19 pm)

Sideworks is an ongoing performance series investigating private property, public space, hostile architecture and the built environment more generally.



27 08 2022 → 01 11 2022
The curator of the group exhibition “Mimeses”, Aikas Žado Laboratory, Žeimiai Manor House. 


Participating artists: Domas Noreika, Delphine Lejeune, Aistė Ambrazevičiūtė, Eglė Ambrasaitė, Ieva Marija Andrulytė, Enrika Stanulevičiūtė, Ieva Gudelaitytė, Aušra Vismantaitė-Silva, Jerzy Zieliński

Curator of the exhibition: Eglė Ambrasaitė
Architect of an exhibition: Domas Noreika
Designer of the exhibition: Aušra Vismantaitė-Silva
Artwork image used for cover: Helin Sahin
Font: Gailė Pranckūnaitė
Images: Enrika Stanulevičiūtė

“Mimeses”
In the short PBS documentary “Octopus: Making Contact” (2019) we hear how marine biologist, David Scheel, describes the ever-changing textures and colors of the sleeping octopus Heidi’s skin, trying to playfully narrate her dreams. Clarifying that Heidi’s dreaming is a conjecture (it has not yet been scientifically proven that octopuses can dream), the excited scientist assures us that if Heidi is indeed dreaming, then what we are witnessing is a truly dramatic moment. I’ll explain why right away. It is spectacular enough that with the help of chromatophores in their skin, octopuses are able to quickly change their appearance, thus simultaneously communicating and disguising themselves. However, if what we are seeing is indeed Heidi’s dream, it would mean that this impressive creature is able to mimic and blend into an environment that does not exist, thus creating an imitation of a non-existent original. Even if the seascape that provoked her ‘dream’ doesn’t exist (she didn’t actually catch a crab and she didn’t hide to eat it), her camouflage performance, which, importantly, can be read by other sea creatures, is real. The possible dream of the octopus reminded me of a passage from the “Gender Trouble,” where Butler writes that “[…] gay is to straight not as copy is to original, but, rather, as copy is to copy. The parodic repetition of “the original” […] reveals the original to be nothing other than a parody of the idea of the natural and the original (Butler 1990:31). Speaking about performativity in the context of gender and sexuality, Butler argues that our gender performances are predetermined and constituted by the norms that outline and support the gender regime, and we can only ‘perform’ gender by taking into account the repeatability of these norms (known forms and patterns of behavior). The citability of gender and sex limits us in places where our performativity could break away from the constant repetition of ‘ideals’. However, the very fact that we have to constantly repeat these norms shows their instability and the possibility of the collapse of the non-existent ‘original’. After all, as Butler stated, power is ambivalent and must be perceived with its immanent possibility of resistance: paradoxically, only a subject constrained by norms can slip through the ambivalent crack. In addition, as Lacan once argued in his 11th seminar on the Gaze, self-formation and self-performance shape the gaze of the other, and the impression created can be manipulated in a variety of ways, including ideas and practices of deception, assimilation, and invisibility (Lacan 1977:99). Thinking with and about (possibly) dreaming octopus and the non-existent original of the seascape projected by her body, the artists participating in the group exhibition “Mimeses”, invite us to look further beyond what is considered to be ‘original’, by looking at the practices of mimesis and camouflage without the aftertaste of humanistic/moral dishonesty. Perhaps the seedbed of the possibility for the marginalized working class, heterogeneous non-white, non-heteronormative queer communities, and becoming in species will find itself stemming from here?




01 04 2020 → 15 10 2020
The curator of the group exhibition “Enchanted Landscapes”, Invisible Man’s Cinematheque and Residency o-yo’s programmes, Aikas Žado Laboratory, Žeimiai Manor House. 


Participating artists: Dorota Gawęda and Eglė Kulbokaitė, Ieva Lygnugarytė, Rūta Vėbraitė and Sofia Bordin, OFF2Ensemble, Domas Noreika and Enrika Stanulevičiūtė, Urte Kat

Architect of an exhibition: Domas Noreika
Coordinator of the exhibition: Rokas Vaičiulis
Designer of the exhibition: Gailė Pranckūnaitė
Images: Enrika Stanulevičiūtė

“Enchanted Landscapes”
Once, lived a man who suggested to one other man in higher societal rank that it is more beneficial to reign being feared than loved. Patriarchal ruling and private partition blossomed. Tenderness withered away. Do we tend to love one another, do we tend to relate to one another, between humans, non-humans and other earthy creatures with such a perspective? I do agree with Hardt that “most times when people talk about regimes based on hatred, they in fact are based on a certain kind of love” (Hardt 2014). But as he mentions, it is a horrible kind of love, love that is grounded in sameness, where one loves only the one who is like them. Such notion of love washes off the differences to create a unity, a unity like, for example, white supremacy, nationalisms and various religious fundamentalisms and keeps the social, economic, political relations that mushroom from these intact. Society seems to be deprived of something essential, not even aware of what it is it misses. Hence, what is that, or does one need to ask - other kinds of love, what is a relation of affection between (not implying a separation) bodies, minds and souls, interconnected, intermingled in interspecies way? Is “the enchanted island”, how Bourdieu once called love, “a closed and perfectly autarkic world which is the site of a continuous series of miracles” and “can be snatched from the icy waters of calculation, violence and self-interest”(Bourdieu 2001:109)?The curator of this exhibition has no answers. How can I prescribe one with the description of what can be felt only? Love is a different experience for all of us in all its subtlety, an immeasurable journey, which seems to flower without a cause, in unknown directions..Once you try to open up the question of love - it’s like a storage - felt data, neverending archivum in/of clouds. There is a figure of a mother and a father, visions of homelands and landscapes, machines, guns, rapes, deadly wars and illnesses, dusts of laughter, ephemeral touches, broken hearts, ghosts. There is language. Scars. Consumption. There is magic too, gentleness, tenderness, forgiveness, hope. I touched you while you were unaware, while most vulnerable, while sleeping. I watched our hands wrapped, bodies mingling; gently moving my fingers, I stroked your hair, your skin in zigzags, feeling the warmth of your breath, I murmured without uttering the non-corporeal promise of ‘I love you’. I disengaged with what I thought you should be, depersonalizing myself too. You could not observe this process. It flowed like a river, it was a constant becoming. In doing away with the sentimentality and romanization of love that, to the reader, still might seem to arise from these words, the curator of this exhibition, believes love to be an ontological condition, an ontological power that changes you, and through the relationship with others, as a mode of action, is able to reorient the society too. Hence, keeping love as a main thread for the group exhibition “Enchanted Landscapes”, I invite you to see the “different, unique, unrepeatable, unstable and foreign” (Badiou 2012) perspectives on love, relations and intensities, coming from different journeys, different experiences, from different artists. Let’s try to experience love, and all that surrounds it, together, in differences. 



01 06 2019 → 15 10 2019
The curator of Sevda’s Khatamian’s solo exhibition “Decay(-ing)”, Aikas Žado Laboratory, Žeimiai Manor House. 


Participating artist: Sevda Khatamian
Architect of the exhibition: Domas Noreika
Guide of the exhibition: Sevda Khatamian
Designer of the exhibition: Gailė Pranckūnaitė
Images: Enrika Stanulevičiūtė

“Decay(-ing)”
Thinking through the matters of sensation, sensation of time that concerns the grand question: what is/are the ‘meaning(-s) of life” in body-prison, body-locked, lonely-body?, Iranian artist and writer Sevda Khatamian argues that while we are all being made of a “texture of Adam”, we still tend not to “forget the sunscreen”, the protection, the dermatology of our skins. For her, it is the question of our anthropocentric survival or our annihilation. But what about the bodies with no land, no sun of ‘their own’, the “no-landers”, the no-suners? In her video installations and paintings, Sevda writes a sort of manifesto of loneliness for the pluralization of relations between matter, the human and the non-human. By feeling the geo-history of the places locally and bodily (in this case, the locality of Žeimiai) she steps away from teo- and ego- logics of patriarchal, eurocentric gaze. Cloud-watching with a smile she wonders what the identity, nationality, race is when all decay? What kind of territories are disassembled when the known social and political decays? More broadly, what can one imagine to be the lonely body without a face? 




01 08 2019 → 15 10 2019
The curator of the group exhibition “Nothing to Regret”, Aikas Žado Laboratory, Žeimiai Manor House. 


Participating artists: Enrika Stanulevičiūtė, Domas Noreika and Eglė Ambrasaitė
Curators of the exhibition: Eglė Ambrasaitė and Audrius Pocius
Architect of an exhibition: Domas Noreika
Coordinator of the exhibition: Rokas Vaičiulis
Designer of the exhibition: Gailė Pranckūnaitė
Images: Enrika Stanulevičiūtė

“Nothing to Regret”
Only a thoughtless observer can deny that correspondences come into play between the world of modern technology and the archaic symbol-world of mythology (Walter Benjamin)

It seems that today the popular myth of the struggle for survival of man and nature has lost its dramatic intensity. The mythical power of nature, once indistinguishable from how we understand the essence of humanity, as elemental and enigmatic, unpredictable and obsessive, has given way for a simple economic equation which, despite an occasional deviation here and there, blinds us to everything that cannot be utilized, exchanged, evaluated and defined. On one hand, maybe one shouldn’t feel nostalgic about this faded nature – we do not need to be as fast as an antelope, if we can fly faster than birds, build infrastructures more sophisticated than ants or communicate at a distance greater than whales: today our memory is stored in neatly organised file systems, whereas the human boldly gazes toward the future.However, this triumph is not unambiguous: when our world is completely calculated, things and people remain in the shadows of these calculations until they start imperceptibly fade out of view completely. Walls of uninhabited buildings, evaluated and labelled ‘heritage’ start concealing their history – life itself is no longer welcome here. Respectively, an image of a person becomes more important than himself, as the former can be multiplied, exchanged and manipulated. This is most evident in compositions characteristic to fashion photography, where models are depicted as passive by imitating the facial expressions of the dead. We cannot be fascinated enough by our own facies hippocratica, it seems…Therefore, the question – can our lives be reconciled with life itself? – becomes a central theme in this exhibition. Aikas Žado Laboratory and Enrika Saniulevičiūtė invites the visitor to take a peep into what lies behind the facade of an image and hear stories usually silenced under walls of buildings or wrapped under the fabric of clothes. Exhibition will take place in si-bioarchitectural boudoir’s room. Its surfaces are selected, coded and curated by Aikas Žado Laboratory. Domas Noreika explains the idea of si-bioarchitecture in the context of global neoliberal capitalism and uses narratives of bio-tensions to describe this formed political, economic and cultural situation, as, for example, a cynical commentary by a Lithuanian political figure on the "collapse of one part of the mansion’s building, and the management of another", or the eternal desire of the wedding people to have “romantic photoshoots on the staircase of the abandoned manor". During the exhibition, the boudoir chamber of Žeimiai Manor, the techniques and philosophy of heritage protection, the figure of P. Smuglevičius, who brought classicist aesthetic traditions from Rome to Lithuania in the 18th century, iconography and the context of cultural activities become the main conceptual axis through which the potentiality to speak about the global issues of socio-economic relations, geopolitics, cultural heritage, conservation and preservation and to act on and create eco-critical theory and practice from the local si-bioarchitectural position of the manor actualizes. This is how Žeimiai Manor House becomes an example of a slow and quality-based development of cultural heritage in Lithuania. Enrika Stanulevičiūtė’s photographies provoke the structural charm of the boudoir room by embodying and, at the same time, disembodying the traditional biopolitical body of the “model-worker”. The dark spectre of experiences, contaminating the work of the model are breaking out through the fingers of patriarchy, through the apparatuses of constant sexism, chauvinism and genderism.



01 02 2018 → 01 11 2018
The curator of the group exhibition “Bio-fantômas’ic sessions”, Invisible Man’s Cinematheque and Residency o-yo’s programmes. 


Participating artists: Anna Belousova, Gailė Griciūtė ir Viktorija Damerell, Jack Finerty, Domas Noreika, Eglė Ambrasaitė 

Curator of the exhibition: Eglė Ambrasaitė
Architect of an exhibition: Domas Noreika
Designer of the exhibition: Gailė Pranckūnaitė
Coordinator and guide of the exhibition: Rokas Vaičiulis
Images: Enrika Stanulevičiūtė

“Bio-fantômas’ic sessions”
In 2018, the programme of Invisible Man’s Cinematheque is based on the ideas of eco-centeredness that here, in local and problematic small town of Žeimiai, are calling for heterogeneity and diversity, following a rhizomatic and anti-hierarchical conception of multi-species co-existence! In the wake of the global ultra-right hurricanes and superstorms, the exhibition curated by the Invisible Man’s Cinematheque, established in Aikas Žado Laboratory, Žeimiai Manor House, invites to see and hear that, what is hidden and invisible, that, which is deleted or inaccessible in the VHS cassette, that, which are just fantômas'ic figurations, critical left-kicks on a hot summer night, rough homophobic marks of torn up by the roots wooden fence planks in your face, all the possible masks, gendered apparatuses, undarned gaps, cracking splits, steaming doughs, flowed oils, forged promises, that, which fits in and that, which slips through the whip and time of si-bioarchitecture.




26-28 08 2016
Curator of Javier Marquerie Thomas’ and Jessica Mai Walker’s performance and installation “tar, amber, ash”, created and performed in Aikas Žado Laboratory, Žeimiai Manor House as part of Residency o-yo 2016 programme. Funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture. 


Participating artists:  Javier Marquerie Thomas and Jessica Mai Walker
Curator of the performance and exhibition: Eglė Ambrasaitė



“tar amber ash”

Javier Marquerie Thomas and Jessica Mai Walker cultivate a space with soil, colophony and insects.

The protozoan - a miniscule being that runs the world, laid the foundations that constitute civilisation. Although insignificant in size, by sheer weight of numbers heterotrophic protozoa have had a considerable impact on the biology and geology of the earth: in food chains: as purifiers and pollutants: as ancestors of multicellular animals: as parasites: in the formation of oozes and limestone. Formerly known as animalcules, these previously microscopic organisms are now the silent embodiments of the most magnificent architectures on earth. Their remains were later refined into the stone that built the Pyramids; unbeknown to them, they have undertaken an unhurried but astounding metamorphosis: from their former microscopic condition of life, to the first wonder of the Ancient World.

44 million years ago (Eocene epoch), whilst the remains of these single celled organisms completed their short life spans to begin the slow process of being crushed into dust and reconstituted, Baltic conifers were producing unusual amounts of resin. It would’ve bled out from under the bark of the trees like coagulated honey and fell in drops from the boughs, small forms of life suffocating in the path of the flood. Flies, bacteria, lizards, deadlocked - gravityless and groundless, perpetually in a state of potential motion and maintained endlessly in the present. There’s factories in Russia and China that raise insects, scorpions, frogs to be placed in molds and smothered gently in a warm soup of melted plastic; these are packaged, transported to warehouses and eventually shops to be stocked and sold as key rings. This is not a new image of the world, but the transformation of the world into images.

Tar, amber, ash. The preferable conditions for fossilisation are a quick burial in fine, moist sediments; a quick burial in volcanic ash; the presence of groundwater that is heavily mineralized. The bodies of the dead fuel the lateral expansion of the present, at the risk of being cast out into an unstable future. We are strange kin in a warming atmosphere.

Bodies no longer look or smell like food, they smell like plastic. They smell like shampoo, ammonia, petrol, antifreeze, soap, hair straighteners, makeup remover, insect repellent, cheap shoes, balloons, new car, innertubes.




26 02 2014 →
Curator of Aikas Žado Laboratory (Žeimiai Manor House) programmes, including “Residency o-yo”, “Invisible Man’s Cinematheque”, “Lankesa” and "Center of Biomimetic Imagination” (”CBI”). 

http://www.zeimiudvaras.lt
https://www.aikaszadolaboratory.com

Aikas Žado Laboratory is a contemporary art device, constructed in Žeimiai Manor House. Aikas Žado Laboratory is organized as an individually collaborative artwork by the artists Domas Noreika and Eglė Ambrasaitė, as well as a communal artwork. Part of its programs are administered, coordinated and ideologically developed by the Aikas Žado Association. The main activities of the Laboratory are practical experiments related to the management of cultural heritage objects and the combination of discoveries, methods, techniques and knowledge in the fields of contemporary art, science and culture. The main principles of the Laboratory’s activities are illustrated by the application of conservation, prevention and restoration systems in the Žeimiai Manor House. At the Laboratory, the team collects and tests historical materials, organizes scientific research and exhibitions, and presents cognitive expeditions that showcase specific solutions and methods of turning the manor house into a contemporary artwork.