September 19, 2006 - Frankfurter Kunstverein - two exhibitions: Arturas Raila and Impossible India
September 19, 2006

two exhibitions: Arturas Raila and Impossible India

Gigi Scaria, “A Day with Sohail and Mariyan”, 2004, Videostill Frankfurter Kunstverein

Arturas Raila
Power of the Earth

Chapter 3 of the exhibition series
Ist das Leben nicht schön?
September 27-November 26, 2006
Impossible India
Parallel Economies and Contemporary Art Production

Curated by Nina Möntmann
September 27-November 19, 2006

Both exhibitions open on
September 26, 7 pm

Ist das Leben nicht schön?
Arturas Raila: Power of the Earth
The exhibition Power of the Earth curated by Chus Martínez, is Arturas Railas first solo show in Germany, in which he will present three closely related projects that have been developed continuously during the last few years. One of these is created especially for the show in the Frankfurter Kunstverein.

In his work, the Lithuanian artist Arturas Raila (*1962) uses mostly photography and video. He explores segments of society that seem to be detached from ordinary mainstream culture in order to open up new perspectives on what is perceived as common sense.
Power of the Earth (2005-6) is the pivotal work of the exhibition. The project is the result of a two-year collaboration with Vaclovas Mikailionis and Villius Gibavicius. They are two experts in Geopathic Energy from rural Lithuania, who use folk knowledge to locate and map energy fields in the Earth, as they will also do in and around the Frankfurter Kunstverein. In the exhibition will be shown a series of beautiful and mysterious photos taken in the Lithuanian countryside, as well as an energy map of the Frankfurt city centre where the Kunstverein is located.
Primitive Sky (2002/2006) consists of a series of five photos and a short video. The project originates in an experience the artist had in the late 1970s when he claims to have seen some strange lights moving in the sky in a small town in western Lithuania. He saw the phenomenon five times afterwards, he claims. forever lacking, never quite enough (2002-3) is a video installation consisting of two big projections and a plasma monitor. The work deals with the foreign occupations of Lithuania in the 1940s and poses questions about the different narratives that separate History from Story.

Arturas Raila invites the viewer to reflect upon what is considered mainstream and marginal, the relationship between the new and the traditional, the rational and the esoteric.
Thursday, September 28, 7 pm: Talk with Arturas Raila and two experts in Geopathic Energy from Lithuania: Vaclovas Mikaikionis and Vilius Gibavicius, and the Lithuanian witch Marija Peckiene..

Speaking of Others
Impossible India. Parallel Economies and Contemporary Art Production
Artists: Shaina Anand, Open Circle, Gigi Scaria, Christoph Schäfer, Åsa Sonjasdotter, Shilpa Phadke and Bishaka Datta with Abhinandita Mathur, Roshani Jhadav, Neelam Ayare and Karan Arora
Impossible India is a project curated by Nina Möntmann for the platform Speaking of Others at the Frankfurter Kunstverein.

In the media India is presented as the fastest growing economy in the world the stock market is booming. The exhibition explores how artists see the changing economic relations between urban and rural areas in India, and their impact on individual and collective life styles.

That the country is currently exposed to the effects and side effects of globalisation is a fact of contemporary Indian life. Wealth from the IT-business and service economies visibly flows into the increasingly prosperous urban areas, while the economic and social situation in the rural areas is worsening. Indias development to a prospering economy only began one and a half decades ago. The countrys self-imposed trade embargo, intended to insure self-reliance on domestic resources, was lifted when India opened its doors to foreign imports and investments in 1991. As a consequence the country and its economy changed rapidly. India had taken the first step toward participating in the global economy, but this process has winners as well as losers. Research on information technology, old and new economies and their effects on urban and rural conditions is often an important theme in the work of artists in India.

The exhibition is an open structure including different collaborations, events and media such as docu-fiction, Photo(journalism), interviews, drawings, film and a participatory TV program. In this way, it also documents the way in which artists in contemporary India challenge the conditions of artistic production.

The title Impossible India indirectly relates to the political scientist Partha Chatterjees influential book A Possible India (1997), in which he examins the perspectives of democracy in India as the politics of the governed. The title of the exhibition challenges his idea of an anticolonial nationalism and questions at the same time any notion of the nation as a defining centre of reference. The art works in the exhibition introduce a diversity of factors and situations in India whose existence side by side seem “impossible”, but in fact they intertwine and affect each other.
Film screenings:
Saturday, September 23, 7 pm. Presented by Sharmila Samant
Wednesday, October 4, 7 pm. Presented by Nina Möntmann

Frankfurter Kunstverein
Steinernes Haus am Römerberg
Markt 44
60311 Frankfurt am Main
Tel. 49 (0)69 219 314 0
Fax. 49 (0)69 219 314 11

Opening hours: Tuesday Sunday: 11 am 7 pm
Guided tours every Thursday at 6 pm or by appointment

Arturas Raila with kind support from:
Mainova, Hessische Kulturstiftung, Hessisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst, the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture

Impossible India with kind support from:
Goethe Institute, Auswärtiges Amt, Kulturstiftung des Bundes, Amt für Wissenschaft und Kunst, Stadt Frankfurt am Main

Frankfurter Kunstverein
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