Dalia Mikonytė’s solo exhibition “bust”


Dalia Mikonytė’s solo exhibition “bust” moves from the Prospekto gallery in Vilnius to the “Si:said” gallery (Daržų 18, Klaipėda). On June 5, at 6 p.m., the opening day, Rūta MUR will also perform at the event.

Mikonytė’s latest exhibition uses visual means to talk about cancer, subtly revealing personal experiences of the body and survival. In the face of a complex disease, not only the body changes, but also the object’s own bodily experience, which is shaped by observing and recording unfamiliar transformations and metamorphoses that create a relationship between identity and materiality. The temporary and inevitable materiality of bodies, their secretions, blooms, and mutations are important to the artist. The title “bust” refers to a bust—[French buste <  Latin bustum for tombstone]—a sculptural form or a woman’s breasts. The word “bust” is also used in Lithuanian as a contraction of the verb “busti” to encourage one for awakening.

The centrepiece of the solo exhibition is the video work “bust”, created in collaboration with artist Adomas Žudys, writer Lina Simutytė and composer Rūta MUR. It uses photogrammetry and scanning, as well as medical photographic-scanning techniques such as X-ray and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to reproduce the images. The iconography of the female breasts is explored through paintings and sculptures from different periods. It contains a nostalgic meditation on the impersonal attempt to understand, reflect, and recreate oneself through visual culture.

The exhibition also presents tattoos created between 2015 and 2020 (in collaboration with Egle Tamulytė-Shaltmira, Inga Aleknavičiūtė-Careful Pen, and Lina White), which have turned into wall paintings of the gallery, sculptural artefacts, and collages of scanography-secrets and herbariums. In these, the unfolding leaves of plants, a variety of flowers and their blooms reveal not only the dynamic fragility of flora but also a sensitive reference to the leukonychia spots on fingernails (in Lithuanian, they are referred to as “blooming nails”) and the changing structure of the whole organism. The jewellery-like roses, spread out on the body map of the areas affected by the infection, affect the superficial skin, but also the deeper tissues and the lymphatic system. The aesthetic means of representation that the author has chosen associatively allow us to feel the triumph of beauty even in the face of fragile temporality and decay. These secrets are both a celebration of the joy of survival and a hangover. Restless sleep and wakenings on the road.

Dalia Mikonytė is an artist and researcher working in the media of photography, video, 3D graphics, and text. Her oeuvre explores different variations of perception and recognition and she is interested in the relationship between materiality, technology and identity. Subjects often include intimate and public space and time, personal and group experiences, identity and its representation, signs, reality, and actual and virtual reality. Dalia Mikonytė works as a pair with Adomas Žudys. She is a member of the artist group Cooltūristės, Lithuanian Interdisciplinary Artists’ Association, and the Lithuanian Photographers Association. More information at: www.daliamikonyte.lt and @daliamikonyte.

The exhibition will run until June 26.

The exhibition is funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture and Klaipėda City Municipality.