Laisvės alėja / Freedom Avenue. 2017

Dainius Liškevičius

Laisvės alėja / Freedom Avenue. 2017

Pavement outside Savanorių pr. 225, Kaunas

Kaunas City Museum, Rotušės a. 15, Kaunas
II–VI 10.00–18.00
VII 10.00–16.00

Paving slabs

Freedom Avenue (Lith. Laisvės alėja) is the most important artery of Kaunas’ city centre. In 1919, on the occasion of Lithuania’s declaration of independence, it acquired the name of Freedom. Its paving, which was laid down between 1970-1982, is now gradually being replaced. The paving, that gave a unique character to this main street of the city, although installed during the Soviet occupation, or perhaps because of it, became for many citizens and guests of Kaunas inextricably linked with Freedom Avenue itself as the symbol of freedom and certain manifestations of “independent” life, including the 1972 youth protests in Kaunas, and “led” to Lithuania’s independence.

The reconstruction of Freedom Avenue which is taking place at the moment has led to a lot of discussions about the value and historical significance of the old paving. Is it important for only one generation and certain groups of people as an artefact that evokes nostalgia for their youth? Is it an asset, part of the city’s heritage that is worthy of preservation as an important piece of the city’s history? Dainius Liškevičius goes further: do the paving slabs, separated from their specific place, maintain the “aura” of Freedom Avenue, can they represent it? Can they become a monument? He is searching for answers not only to these questions, but also regarding broader issues of commemorating significant artefacts of cultural history: should they be placed in a museum or, on the contrary, somewhere where they could “live” and perform their intended function?

VšĮ “Kauno bienalė”
Plento g. 1 d, Kaunas LT45393, Lietuva
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