NOAR Nordic and Baltic contemporary art platform

Until March 13 Vartai gallery in Vilnius shows two solo shows: “smooth space, pleated” by Lithuanian artists Geistė Marija Kinčinaitytė and “Date Night” by Latvian artist Daria Melnikova.

“smooth space, pleated” is a solo-presentation of new work by Geistė Kinčinaitytė, an artist and researcher. Her image-making practice is defined by encounters with the uncanny, which is understood to be both the cessation of a comfort zone — whether self, human, habit, habitat, milieu — and alertness to a yet-to-be-identified presence. She is currently undertaking her PhD in Film and Screen Studies at the University of Cambridge. Research interests include media archaeology, artists’ films and installations

Solo-show “smooth space, pleated” revolves around the artist’s debut film — a video essay entitled “The Pool” (2020). This work is the result of a collaboration with writer Elaine Tam, and experimental composers Simon Allen, Jan Hendrickse and Sandro Mussida. The culmination of a long-standing fascination with themes of hospitality, belonging and alienation, Kinčinaitytė uses image-making to draw out the mesmeric charge of naturally-occurring phenomena: bodies of water, barren lands and interior cavities.

Photographed by Laurynas Skeisgiela

Latvian artist Daria Melnikova’s solo exhibition ‘Date Night’ is set as a café in which the author’s drawings, collages, sculptures and objects from various periods act as the coffee shop’s inventory and decorative elements. In Melnikova’s work, references to the different motifs, techniques, materials and pastiches of different historical art styles that can be found in furnishing departments and hardware stores as well as interiors of corporate and private spaces speak about the eclecticism of today’s “post-everything” state, the intertwining of art and leisure, and the ability to make art while doing something else. In this exhibition, the café becomes a situation in which previously created works of the author only exhibited once take on a new role and are newly presented to the visitors. Besides that, the exhibition ironically comments on the popular image of an “art café” and the cliché elements that create the atmosphere of such places.

Daria Melnikova’s exhibition ‘Date Night’ is an escapist art deco café that offers a brief break away from current issues in an improvised sensory journey through different forms, colours and motifs.

Photographed by Laurynas Skeisgiela