International group exhibition

15.06 - 25.06.2009.

Johnny Amore, Clodagh Emoe, Flavia Muller Medeiros, Jantine Wjinja, Žolt Kovač, Raimundas Malasauskas & Gareth Spoor, Flora Whiteley & Darren Banks, Superhero X, J&K, and the sketch book

Catherine Hemelryk

Art holds a privileged position in society where anything can happen. It could be argued that art has superpowers as it can conjure the impossible into being and create situations that may otherwise not have come to be. This project is a platform for presenting some feats of artistic practice, but also key to it as a space for participation, for visitors - artists nearby, composers, writers, the regular Joe, anyone - can come and make something happen and where the remnants will remain on show for the duration of the exhibition, perhaps to inspire other magical moments.

The works presented in the project include Flavia Muller Medeiros' Irka which captures the moment when a Belarusian student named Irka flew for the first time. Belarus is a closed society where travel is rarely permitted and young people have no economic means to travel. The Brazilian artist Muller Medeiros facilitated Irka's travel through an art project, creating a valid and open route for her that was otherwise closed. Jantine Wjinja presents a forum for empowerment through small gestures from the Netherlands. To gain a different personality or to take on new qualities, to shift identity and more, subtle powers are attributed to small everyday or intimate objects that are free for exchange for visitors, for example, to swap a shoelace, badge, bag strap or more. Serbian Zolt Kovac's photographs document the power of his paintings to make his viewers levitate whilst the Lithuanian/American collaboration between Raimundas Malasauskas and Gareth Spoor present their take on a Dream Machine. Their machine weaves a message and can trigger and infiltrate dreams to anyone sitting around it with eyes open or closed. A guided journey into the subconscious? An opening of a door?

Another door is opened by British artist Flora Whiteley who uses art to communicate with the paranormal by presenting pet portraits from beyond the grave. The questionability of hoax and authenticity are played with during a séance in which Whitely enters a trance to draw pets who have passed on. Within the gallery context the drawings are not simply a tool for communication from the dead but works in their own right, and also to question the validity of such practices and its relationship to performance. Resurrection is also performed by J&K who built Babylon. Taking form of a Babylon bus, the Danish and German artists toured America and Europe bringing the rivers of Babylon to the people in ways that hadn't happened since the days of Bony M. Stage sets, collages and performances tapped into this mythical land, creating a utopia, a no place, emphasised by its roving nature. Finally, German artist X has lived as a superhero for the past five years. His films document his existence where not only the cape, tights and mask give him the feeling of superpowers, but his situation of working in the art world provide him with a freedom to navigate through society with a license to experiment with ways of living, challenging and communicating his experiences.

In the participation space, anyone is welcome to try something new, to present something that they might not usually have chance to, to express, create, change, to empower and use the space that is both part of the real world yet conceptually could become anything and anywhere. On the exterior walls of the CAC in Vilnius, Pierre Bismuth put the statement: ‘Everyone is an artist but only artists know it’. The superpower of this exhibition is to invite you to know it and to join the show.

Catherine Hemelryk