Magical bodies

" T.2 Gallery" presents a painting exhibition self-curated by Elena Antanavičiūtė and Rūta Matulevičiūtė at "ArtVilnius’23". The artists present paintings that are representative of their body of work.

Antanavičiūtė has been exploring the theme of the body in her works for some time now, inviting to discuss the standards of beauty, the relationship with one's own body, the body as a tool for one's own creativity, and at the same time as an abstract motif, where one can see both the landscapes of nature and the human unconsciousness. The author's work also includes diaristic motifs from her close environment.

In Matulevičiūtė's works the magical world is predominant. A world of the mythology of the Balts and other nations’ lore; her works picture an alternative utopian reality.

The exhibition is a meeting of very mundane, sometimes landscape-like body motifs and images from another reality. These are two different but intertwined worlds, reflecting their place in life and art and the search for meaning. For the artists, art is a way of understanding the environment. In some works, the artist looks back at herself as an animal existing in her own body; in other works, she identifies with magical, mysterious beings, and questions of existence are resolved in a utopian reality. Although the works on show are paintings, the artists are not strangers to the performative. The theme of the body evokes associations with performance and body art. Antanavičiūtė's works are full of fragmentary images of the body—small observations, like portraits of body parts where the face is turned away or does not fit into the frame. R. Matulevičiūtė has also presented performances and other projects such as "HOT Salon" and "Wisdom Vendor." For this artist, the persona of the artist and the image of the artist are important. Still, they are inseparable from the creation and development of the person, not only in art but also in the practice of meditation, in an effort to live a conscious, meaningful life.

In her search for answers in the utopia she has created, Matulevičiūtė does not shy away from hints of pop and virtual culture; the beings of the world of miracles seem to be aware of our reality, of pop culture and the art market. In her utopia, the author does not run away from reality, but complements it, and tries to transform it, starting from herself, creating art without suffering and striving for awareness, but without losing her ironic, critical attitude.

The theme of the body, which has been dealt with in art for a long time, appears in the exhibition in the broadest spectrum: from realistic fragments of the artist's body, which seem to be a response to the images of the body that are explored in many media, to magical portraits of creatures.

The exhibition is like a game of opposites of motifs, forms, and similarities of meaning and content. It reveals the different choices made by the creative individual: one is to search for meanings closest to oneself, in the small folds of one's own physical body, and the other is to create a whole separate world, a utopia, and to solve mundane issues there in a magical way. The artists choose to curate their own exhibition, stating that it is important for them to decide for themselves, to select their works, to establish an artistic dialogue with each other, and to merge two worlds into one narrative.


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