The work of the Lithuanian artist Deimantas Narkevičius (born in 1964, lives in Vilnius) addresses perceptions of history and memory as reflected through contemporary and subjective points of view. In this exhibition, Narkevičius presents the performance A Tang of Lomo Film, 2011 and the film Ausgeträumt, 2010. Both works are being shown in Germany for the first time.
Between 1950 and 1980, Soviet Cinemas were equipped with highly developed sound systems broadcasting didactic and regime abiding content. The finest and most qualitatively impressive sound system produced in the former USSR was made by the manufacturer Lomo Kinap in Leningrad. Part of their technology originated from the German pre war company Klangfilm. In retrospect, for Narkevičius the soft and pleasant sound has remained stronger in his memory than the images.
In A Tang of Lomo Film, the artist uses the Lomo Kinap sound system both as medium and starting point. Visitors to the exhibition experience this fascination with sound when choosing a song from the digital library. The digital music file is converted into an analogue and played through the Lomo Kinap sound system. This way, the acoustic present is replaced by the highly developed technology of the past. Every time a visitor’s chosen song is played, it is through the sound developed under political oppression during Soviet rule - a somewhat fascinating but also disturbing experience.
While Narkevičius in A Tang of Lomo Film shares history as a sensory perception with the public, in the film Ausgeträumt he focuses on memory and links it with personal experience. As such, he places his central protagonists in relation to their urban and economical landscape.
The first few creative steps of an artist are usually very positive, still untouched by any form of critique, almost naive. In Ausgeträumt Narkevičius recalls this naive state of mind – in between dreams and reality, which he from his current perspective considers very beautiful and almost forgotten. He films a group of young teenage boys from Vilnius who have formed an Indie-Band and are performing their first song. It is worth noting that Rock and Pop music as form of self-expression has hardly been popularized in Lithuania and no Lithuanian musician has ever achieved international recognition in this type of music.
As a LUX- and Independent Cinema-Commission, Ausgeträumt has been shot on 35-mm-film and has been recently touring around English cinemas. Hence, the first song of a young idealist group of Lithuanians went on a virtual tour through Great Britain, a country famous for its distinctive Pop music culture.
Deimantas Narkevičius/Charlotte von Uthmann