10 / 10 / - 24 / 11 / 2000
Exhibition / Presentation

Nomeda und Gediminas Urbonas (LT)

Presentation of earlier works, TV productions,
and the artist space Jutempus initialized by the artists.

06 / 10 / 2000


Discussion on Films
Filmlist + Synopsis


The recent work of the Vilnius based, Lithuanian artists Nomeda and Gediminas Urbonas has reflected a range of issues pertaining to contemporary artistic practice, specific to the conditions of post 1989 Lithuanian society. The artists have chosen to work with various forms of production and distribution that link these together, often in the realm of public media, as seen in their recent television productions, as well the ongoing research / exhibition projects such as "Transaction". This choice is also clearly evident through their role as founders in 1995, of Jutempus, Lithuania's first artist-initiated space, where they developed a focus on introducing contemporary window to artistic practice, linking outwards both to local situation and internationally. The artists left the Jutempus space to continue engagment with projects in the public media.

The project "Transaction" began development in Vilnius, with the artists interest to research into the psychological impact of the 1989 revolution on different generations of women, from different fields, and the current revival of interest in a form of analysis called "transaction analysis". This implies a form of therapy and treatment in which the patient is confronted with a script, through which he or she would be able to develop a realization of the traumatic foundation of his or her problems, and in a parallel narrative, open that to articulation and discussion.

According to the artists, this work specifically focuses on the period after Lithuanian independence from the Soviet regime, where major societal and economical changes have occured, and introduce a sense of disorientation for a significant part of the Lithuanian population. With this comes a new cynicism and the sense of insecure future which stopped further development, essentially analogous to a paralysis of the nation."Transaction" works with the role of art in society, using the shared recollection of media as a starting point for a script, through which to develop a reflection of this state of 'paralysis', and thus begin addressing the current scenario.

The project is divided into different phases. They first invited for interviews women working in different fields, including programmers, filmmakers, critics, artists, and a philologist. The discussion was shaped by beginning around the subject of Lithuanian 'cult' cinema, specifically in which women characters have played a major role. The material that was collected from these video interviews served to address both the work of "transaction", and as well supplied a research documentation archive that shows the change in the self-reception of Lithuanian women in media. The artists have noted that with this material is evident the complex portrayal of the women's image, both by what they see as Western emancipation, and their understanding of the Soviet ideal of motherhood.

The second phase was an invitation by the artists to representatives of the Lithuanian healthcare system and directors of psychiatric institutions. Each invited participant is a specialist in the field of Transaction Analysis.The specialists were asked to view and discuss the selected film sequences referred to by the interviewed women, as well as the video interviews. It is important the analysis is onto the shared public media of cinema, as well as interviews made specific to viewing them, or recalling them, so that the final 'script' offered to this administrative perspective was arranged to keep the discussion shifted away from the personal individual and onto the shared perspective of a society. Thus, through the cinema and shared sense of media, in the public art framework, the artists worked to formulate their initial subject - overcoming the state of paralysis in which they see the Lithuanian society residing in.

For the project's intial presentation in an exhibition format at Witte de With in Rotterdam, the artists had began with the idea of presenting the work's sensibility as a kind of unpacking' of the closed off memories and voices. "Transaction" enters a next phase to be presented within the framework of haus.0 program. For this, Nomeda and Gediminas Urbonas see the artist's space program, with its emphasis on media, architecture, and the continuing research of ­scripted spaces', as a well situated partner to allow them as artists a stage to address their notion of contemporary practice, and how "Transaction" unfolds as a narrative strategy which is integral to that.

They consider the importance of the artist's space venue is that it matches their own issues and allows them to draw lines out from the various material of their practice, from initiating a space, curating, organizing, through the shift to media, tv production and the research, documentation and new scripts in link to the work "transaction". The haus.0 project will not only include the next phase of "transaction" currently underway in Lithuania, as a work, it will create a network that joins this material to their other projects, including the television series they have produced, that articulates the role of the artist in contemporary Lithuanian society.

Nomeda and Gediminas Urbonas will be working in the haus.0 space, 4. floor, at Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, from the 11. September onwards until the opening.