Deimantas Narkevičius

Deimantas Narkevičius

Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb

Deimantas Narkevičius, His-story (still), 1998. Courtesy Deimantas Narkevičius and Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb.

January 9, 2015

Deimantas Narkevičius
Da Capo

10 January–20 February 2015 

MSU, Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb
Av. Dubrovnik 17

Curated by Marco Scotini in collaboration with Radmila Iva Janković

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MSU) in Zagreb presents the first major solo exhibition of the Lithuanian artist and filmmaker Deimantas Narkevičius in Croatia. Da Capo is the final step of a cycle of three exhibitions, held between 2013 and 2014 in Museo Marino Marini in Florence and Le Magazin in Grenoble: each with a different curator, concept and display, developed anew for the specific location. 

This station of Da Capo exhibition is curated by Marco Scotini in collaboration with MSU curator Radmila Iva Janković and it will bring together some of Deimantas Narkevičius’s major filmic works, that have brought him to international recognition (such as Once in the XX Century, The Head, Energy Lithuania, etc.), the sculptures from his early artistic career, as well as his latest sound installations. His most recent audio work, Sad songs of War, realized through the Public Program project of Manifesta in St Petersburg, will be presented to Croatian audience for the first time. 

The Italian expression “Da Capo” is a sign that derives from the language of music and opera. In a musical sheet, Da Capo indicates part of the composition to be repeated from the beginning. Narkevičius uses this expression in its original meaning, but also alludes to the looped motion of the video, and more specifically relates it to his particular concept of history of the post-Soviet societies. 

The great importance of Narkevičius’s work lays in the fact that he is one of those few to have examined, perhaps more radically than others, the very nature of the history (or the order of time) after ’89. There is a constitutive anachronism that insinuates in all of his works and not just because of the use of found footage or archival materials. In fact, his most recognized videos, beginning with his fundamental work His-story, which is part of the MSU collection, put into action a transposition of hic et nunc into the past, of the now into then. In each piece, a different set of strategies to achieve this is used (including the use of obsolete technology) and those allow the simultaneous existence of multiple time planes. His work is not dealing with the idea of historical investigation or the disorientation after its presumed end. In Narkevičius there is always a return, not to the actual past, but rather to a condition of the possibility of such past. That is why his work never quotes, but rather repeats this temporary  disconnection, reiterating the difference.

Being one of the most acclaimed Lithuanian artists and a true master of the post ’89 artists’ generation, his works have been recently exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), Chicago; the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the New Museum, New York. Deimantas Narkevičius (born 1964, Utena, Lithuania) lives and works in Vilnius. He has represented Lithuania at the 49th Venice Biennale in 2001 and exhibited at the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003 in Utopia Station. He has shown his works at numerous group and solo exhibitions (The Center Pompidou, Paris; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven among others).

On the occasion of Da Capo exhibition, the first comprehensive publication on the filmic production of Deimantas Narkevičius will be published, edited by Marco Scotini with the support of Museo Marini in Florence and in collaboration with MSU Zagreb. Da Capo. Fifteen Films (Archive Books, Berlin) is a book constructed following the example of Chris Marker’s Commentaires and it will include contributions from eminent art critics, sociologists and curators, including Alfonsas Andriuškevičius, Boris Buden, Ana Devic, Brigitte Franzen, Charles Esche, Maria Lind, Raimundas Malašauskas, Laura McLean-Ferris, Joanna Mytkowska, Philippe Pirotte, Gerald Raunig, Jean-Pierre Rehm, Dieter Roelstraete, Alberto Salvadori, Jan Verwoert, and Andrea Viliani.

Deimantas Narkevičius at MSU, Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb
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January 9, 2015

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