The exhibition The Sharp Edge of Glass takes as its starting point the concepts of "opacity" and "resistance," characteristics that are on the one hand properties of glass and on the other hand refer to the challenge of social limitations. With this in mind, the exhibition aims to create a dialogue between practices for which disobedience and transgression are means of breaking with established canons.
The resistance and hardness of glass differs from another of its properties: "fragility." But these characteristics are not mutually exclusive. They coexist and together make it a valuable and useful material. Likewise, struggles against racist, misogynic, and normative attitudes share the contradiction of opposing an oppressive system while (unsuccessfully) using the same weapons against it. However, it is also through failure that learning occurs. Therefore, difference and opaque alliances must be defended as places where another value system is possible. It is on the margins where alternatives to social injustice are able to emerge and, through collective work, can affect the mechanisms of social regulation.
From various perspectives, Eglė Budvytytė and Bart Groenendaal, Eduardo Hurtado, Jamila Johnsson-Small, Mourad Kouri, and Claudia Pagès explore forms of resistance against situations of exclusion and control. Using creative expressions such as writing, dance, or storytelling, they embrace oddities and social divergences, an attitude that has also empowered their own work.
Curator Alba Folgado
Alba Folgado is a curator and independent researcher based in Uppsala, Sweden. Her practice explores the visual narratives of urban struggles and the social agency of performative practices. Additionally, she finds it important to connect with critical and non-hegemonic discourses, both within and beyond artistic representations. She has worked in collaboration with the Moderna Museet in Stockholm and with the Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo in Madrid. Prior to this she was part of the team of the Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam. Some of her recent projects include “My Friend is Here”
with the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm, the radio tale “Who Cares?” in the Gasworks London, “Rhythmic Encounters” in the Chalton Gallery, and “I would prefer not to” in the La Gran Gallery. Currently she is working on the development of “Aesthetics of Change”, a project about the performativity of urban struggles throughout Italy, Sweden, and Brazil. She is also the co-curator of “The New Dictionary of Old Ideas”, a touring exhibition which will travel through the Meetfactory (Prague), the Centro Centro (Madrid), the Trafo (Szczecin) and the Silk Museum (Tbilisi) in 2020. Folgado holds a BA in Fine Arts from the University Complutense of Madrid, a MA in Curating from the Royal College of Art and has participated in the curatorial research programme CuratorLab at the Konstfack University of Arts in Stockholm.
The exhibition The Sharp Edge of Glass ir part of the Vitrum 2020 Pulse festival. Vitrum 2020 festival takes “Pulse” as the motto of its current edition. It’s a word that is used here to describe the different intensities with which we confront life. Pulse, the rhythmic pump of blood from the heart to the arteries, can be calm or agitated. It accelerates as it responds to external stimuli such as danger, excitement, activity, or illness, and it returns to a relaxed but steady rhythm when the body is in harmony.
A pulse is also a short vibration or an abrupt sound that repeats in a sequence, and as such, it can be understood as an imitation of a bodily function. It is this type of pulse that we feel when we confront uncomfortable situations and challenge the established rules: a sudden but tough determination that helps us move forward with our plans even if we feel threatened or find ourselves in danger. In this case, the mind dominates the body and manages to transform a physical alert into a strength.
Indeed, overcoming such challenges is what the festival focuses on, highlighting feelings and responses that are developed when people are pushed to their limits, a moment in which they move from quietness and conformity to rage and disobedience, trying out different attitudes and strategies that are difficult to reach in a calm and even state.
With the aforementioned ideas as a background, this edition of the Vitrum Festival will present two exhibitions and a number of workshops and performances enabling different perspectives to manifest in the same city over the course of two months. International and local artists will show their work in different locations of Kaunas, guiding the public through an exploration of glass as a material as well as a metaphor for different aspects of life and human existence.
VITRUM 2020 PULSE October 7 - December 13 in Kaunas.
More information and the programme: www.vitrumfestival.com
The International Glass Art festival VITRUM 2020 PULSE is financed by the Lithuanian Council for Culture and Kaunas City Municipality.