Archive - Kauno Bienalė


„Artumo geografija“ (Long-distance Friendships)


2023 08 25 – 2023 10 29 Kauno centrinis paštas, P.A.R.A.K.A.S

For the 14th Kaunas Biennial (Lithuania) and the 14th edition of Contemporary Art Festival Survival Kit (Latvia), co-curators Alicia Knock and Inga Lāce gather almost 40 artists across two cities to present Long-distance Friendships. These sister exhibitions of the same name—which open 25 August in Kaunas and 7 September in Riga, respectively—invite visitors to engage with stories of transnational solidarity, resistance and resilience, from post-socialist and post-colonial world where microhistories of friendships and encounters become a starting point for contemporary alliances.

„Once Upon Another Time… gyveno jie jau kitaip“


2021 11 12 – 2022 02 20 Lietuvos Krepšinio namai, Kauno T. Ivanausko zoologijos muziejus, A. Žmuidzinavičiaus kūrinių, rinkinių muziejus/Velnių muziejus, VDU menų galerija „101”, viešos miesto erdvės

The 13th Kaunas Biennial “Once Upon Another Time… gyveno jie jau kitaip” offered a reflection on current global situations by exploring stories of human resilience and adaptation. The exhibition investigates myths and fictions associated with transformation, as well as lived personal and communal tales of survival. The sharing of stories enables humans to connect with each other. 

The bilingual exhibition title evokes a fairytale albeit with a twist: it signals both the idea of “another” time and that a story can help change us and the way we live. Here, visitors encountered contemporary art in unusual places, to explore Kaunas’ architectural and lived history. The exhibition venues were animated in renewed and surprising ways through the telling of stories connected to the places, museum collections and people’s memories. Through their compelling and resonant narratives, the artists’ works consider how human beings can adapt when faced with different forms of adversity.

Curator Josée Drouin-Brisebois

Kaunas Biennial: After Leaving | Before Arrival


07 06 2019 – 29 09 2019 Kaunas Railway Station and special wagons, Kaunas Bus Station, Ramybės Park, M. K. Čiurlionis Museum of Art, Vytautas the Great War Museum, Tadas Ivanauskas Zoological Museum, Kaunas Picture Gallery and other public spaces

The 12th Kaunas Biennial aimed at exploring the journey as a metaphor of a city with a complex past and a thriving cultural identity. Looking at not-so-distant past, we can see that Kaunas has undergone a lot of political changes. After Leaving | Before Arriving has chosen the history of Kaunas as a starting point to analyse the wider concept of transition within the context of personal experiences and intergenerational structures. The exhibition reveals how the sense of disorientation pervading our contemporary existence on the global scale intertwines with specific sociopolitic reality of the making of nations in the New East, where alternative European alliances gradually separate themselves from the past regimes. These historical and geopolitical narratives aside, the exhibition looks for more poetic strategies that would help to depict and maybe overcome the sense of instability. In order to find one’s way in the uncharted waters, the means of absurd, mysticism and humorous expression are used. In the exhibition After Leaving | Before Arriving, these in-between moments are treated not only as an opportunity of contemplation, anticipation or doubt, but as the call to action, both individually and collectively, when looking for one’s place under the Sun.

Kaunas Biennial: There and Not There (Im)possibility of a Monument


15 09 2017 – 30 11 2017 Public spaces of the city, Kaunas Picture Gallery

The 11th Kaunas Biennial There and Not There (Im)possibility of a Monument aimed at opposing the populist practice of dismantling/building monuments and its conservative traditionalism; moreover, it aimed at encouraging the legitimation of radical, new, contemporary conceptual and relevant forms and strategies of monumentalisation, inviting to look back at the existing and imagine new potential monuments. The 11th Kaunas Biennial consisted of the main exhibition around the city There and Not There (curator Paulina Pukytė), Coming or Going? (curator Laima Kreivytė), What Are Monuments Made Of? (curator Udi Edelman), oral programme Contested Memory | Contested Spaces (curator Rasa Antanavičiūtė), and the educational programme.

Kaunas Biennial: Networked Encounters


18 09 2015 – 31 12 2015 Kaunas Central Post Office, Mykolas Žilinskas Art Gallery, Kaunas Picture Gallery, Drobė Factory, Dirbtinis Pluoštas Factory

The tenth Kaunas Biennial Networked Encounters focused on the intersections of visual art, sound and music. The geography of exhibitions, concerts and performances expanded from the museum spaces to the public and industrial ones. The 10th Kaunas Biennial renounced competition exhibitions and consisted of the main exhibition in Kaunas Central Post Office, Threads: a Phantasmagoria About Distance (curator Nicolas Bourriaud), exhibitions in former factories Drobė and Dirbtinis pluoštas, M. Žilinskas Art Gallery and Kaunas Picture Gallery, various audio and theatrical events at Monte Pacis hospitality complex.

Kaunas Biennial: Unitext


13 09 2013 – 05 01 2014 M. Žilinskas Art Gallery and Kaunas Picture Gallery

The aim of the 9th Kaunas Biennial, Unitext, was to enable immediate collisions between the work of art and the audience, thus, allowing them to experience art as a universal text. Curators of the exhibition together with artists pursued a concept that was new and unfamiliar in the cultural context. Unitext was treated as the last link in the semiotic chain starting from text -> intertext -> hypertext -> unitext. Kaunas Biennial featured an exhibition of invited artists, competition exhibition, projects by young artists, educational programmes and satellite programmes.

Kaunas Biennial Textile’11: rewind–play–forward


22 09 2011 – 04 12 2011 M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art, theatre stages around the city, public urban spaces

Textile’11: REWIND–PLAY–FORWARD is based on the concept of things enfolding in time (interactions among the past, present and the future). The strands of the programme coincided with the buttons of a player, making the tape go forward, back or play. The programme Rewind consisted of the following international exhibitions of contemporary art: Rewind History, Rewind Personal Story, Rewind into the Future, Satellites. Programme Play consisted of cooperation projects between international dance and textile art professionals, during which unique dance performances were born (in cooperation with Kaunas-based dance theatre Aura and its partners from all around Europe). The programme Forward features scientific experiments / future prospects: 16th international ETN (European Textile Network) conference; experimental creative workshops of smart technologies, international exhibition of young artists and students; international solidarity programme Hemispheres: Daily Bread.

Kaunas Biennial: Textile’09


01 10 2009 – 30 11 2009 M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art, M. Žilinskas Art Gallery and Kaunas Picture Gallery

Kaunas Biennial Textile’09 also renounced theme-dictated content. It consisted of residence programme Live Examination that featured 30 artists, educational programme Train B and satellite exhibitions. In this interdisciplinary event, textile emerged as a means of communication, a link, a piece of news, a concept and way to reach as wider circle of people as possible, while also encouraging cooperation between artists and the remaining part of society.

Kauno meno bienalė „Textilė‘07“


2007 11 30 – 2008 03 02 Nacionalinis M. K. Čiurlionio dailės muziejus, Mykolo Žilinsko dailės galerija, Kauno paveikslų galerija

Kaunas art biennial Textile’07 adhered to the principle of renouncing the thematic name and content. Exhibitions of the open call were formed through the selection committee. There were 328 submissions of artists from 44 artists to participate in the exhibition Wide Examination and 34 works were selected. Curated exhibition Narrow Examination comprised of three segments: Sheer and Shallow curated by Fernando Marques Penteado (Brazil), Unpicked and Dismantled, curators Gerard Williams and Danica Maier (United Kingdom), Skin to Skin, curator Fiona Kirkwood (South Africa). Exhibition Young Examination was introduced as a new structural part of the Biennial reflecting the stance of young artists. Kaunas Biennial was supplemented by educational and research projects and commissioned works.

Kauno meno bienalė „Textilė‘05“


2005 10 21 – 2005 12 04 Nacionalinis M. K. Čiurlionio dailės muziejus, Mykolo Žilinsko dailės galerija, Kauno paveikslų galerija

Textile’05 refused the thematic name and embraced two thematic foci instead. All exhibitions were divided into three categories: PLACE invited artists that strive to develop the dialogue between the textile work of art and its site-specific situation. TECHNOLOGY strived to analyse how textile art affects technologies and vice versa. CONCEPT included works of art related to the conceptual use of textile materials or techniques and expression of meaning using archetypical, intentional or structural textile connotations. The traditional exhibition was formed through the open call featuring 145 artists from 30 countries aside, it was the first time the biennial featured an international curated exhibition (27 artists, 3 curators).

International exhibition of textile art: Right and Wrong Sides


14 11 2003 – 14 12 2003 M.K. Čiurlionis Museum of Art and Mykolas Žilinskas Art Gallery

The international textile exhibition Right and Wrong Sides welcomed 155 artists from 25 countries, with only 45 Lithuanians. It was curated by Snieguolė Surblienė. This was the first event to welcome so many international artists and experts. The aim of the exhibition Good and Wrong Sides was to analyse the needs of the changing world and the position of textile art in it. The exhibition frequently raised the question: where and what is the good and wrong side of textile? In 2003, the event featured an international panel for the first time, which selected three winners from all participants and awarded them with special prizes.

International textile exhibition: Soft World


31 08 2001 – 30 09 2001 M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art, Mykolas Žilinskas Art Gallery and Kaunas Picture Gallery

The international textile exhibition Soft World welcomed 55 artists from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Belgium and Serbia. The exhibition was curated by Algė Gylienė and Snieguolė Surblienė. The aim of this exhibition was to introduce the works of contemporary textile artists, to show the scope of textile as it was, and understand the processes that took place in the Lithuanian textile world, taking the wider context of nearby countries into consideration. Textile in this exhibition varied in its guises: traditional tapestries, works carried out using the knotted, felting, individual and other techniques for works to be hung on the walls, spatial plastics and works of conceptual expression, which was prevailing in this exhibition. The jury elected to assess the works awarded the authors of the most captivating and memorable works.

International exhibition: Line


02 07 1999 – 01 08 1999 M. K. Čiurlionis Museum of Art and Mykolas Žilinskas Art Gallery

International textile exhibition Line welcomed 68 artists from Lithuania, Latvia, United Kingdom, Belgium and Germany. This exhibition expanded and supplemented the previous exhibition Tradition and the Present. This year, however, there was a more diverse representation of artists from various European countries achieved and exposition grew to take place into two museums of Kaunas: M.K. Čiurlionis Museum of Art and Mykolas Žilinskas Art Gallery. The exhibition analysed the meaning of line, its symbolism and history. In this exhibition, the organisational committee selected the winners for the grand prix, other awards and diplomas.

Tarptautinė paroda „Tekstilė‘97“


1997 10 Mykolo Žilinsko dailės galerija

The international textile exhibition Tradition and the Present welcomed 38 artists from Lithuania, Latvia and Austria. It reflected processes characteristic to the Baltic textile at that time, with little ethnicity pervading the craft, yet with traditions carried through the techniques, emphasising the change in the materials used: natural materials have been replaced by the synthetic ones. There have been three topics addressed in the exhibition: 1) spatial textile evolving into installations and assemblages; 2) extended painted abstractions, ideas of photo-hyperrealism and op art expressed through textile means; 3) classical tapestries adhering to the traditional nature and means of expression.