11th Baltic Triennial, “The Mindaugas Triennial”
              Vivian Sky Rehberg
              In a striking departure from the previous versions of the Baltic Triennial, curators Defne Ayas and Benjamin Cook, joined in their efforts by artists Ieva Misevičiūtė and Michael Portnoy, compressed this episodic large-scale exhibition into twelve days spanning the symbolic end of summer and onset of fall. Concentrating solely on film and performance, the entire program was “channeled” through a single human being, its namesake, Mindaugas. For the duration of the triennial, Lithuanian actor Darius Gumauskas was invited to “become” Mindaugas: he thus adopted the moniker, lent his image to the widespread exhibition publicity, and his versatile body, mind, and voice to the occasion. This Mindaugas, the name of the only King of Lithuania (ca. 1203–1263) and presently the most common male name in the country, served as the vehicle for two key themes underlying the show. The first is that a multitude of thoughts and ideas can be inhabited by and expressed through the vehicle of an individual subject. (The etymology of Mindaugas, according to the exhibition brochure, means the one with much wisdom, or many ideas, or much fame.) The second is that this individual subject could be somewhat representative of a specific geo-political and historical context known …

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