In response to the current challenges of the COVID-19 virus pandemic, “Si:said” gallery presents Danas Aleksa’s virtual exhibition “Canadian Visa”.
At 05:00 on the morning of March 23, I had to get into my car and leave for Warsaw, Frederik Chopin Airport. From there, I would take a connecting flight from Toronto to Edmonton, and from there to Yellowknife, the administrative centre of the Northwest Territories. As soon as I had all the necessary paperwork in order, the virus that was spreading caused the trip to be cancelled. Today, at the time of writing, the only relic I have from this trip is my valid electronic permit to enter Canada. Even before the pandemic, when I received the invitation, the first thing I did was look on the internet for the place I was to go. Based on that initial information, I have come up with the idea of reconstructing the experience of a trip that never happened. Using a plotting program, I recreated images of Yellowknife from material I found on the internet.
The question that arises when I trace out is: does physical presence alone provide a sense of authenticity? In most cases, a trip to a particular place is chosen because of the flow of information we get. It is therefore likely that the impressions one gets when arriving at the desired place will be programmed by the information received earlier. Of course, information gathered on the internet is no substitute for what is experienced in person. On the other hand, the “live experience” will begin to fade as it moves from the dimension of the present to the past tense, and the gaps will be filled by constructs born in the imagination, which is again fed by the same information flow.
Danas Aleksa (b. 1971) is a sculptor and creator of objects, installations and performances. He graduated from the Vilnius Academy of Arts in 1997 with a degree in sculpture. Since 1997, he has participated in and arranged exhibitions. In 2012, Aleksa became a member of the Lithuanian Interdisciplinary Artists’ Association. He lives and works in Vilnius.
Aleksa‘s work is concerned with the relationship between the individual and society, a specific place and time. In his work of the last few years, the artist has often dealt with issues of (his own) social status and identity in a broader sense. His artworks often ask “who am I” in general and “who (am) I not” in the social and/or institutional art system. The artist describes his being an interdisciplinary artist as an in-between state, when you are not only between disciplines, but between yourself and art, between yourself and the domestic, between the domestic and the art, between society and yourself, when you are an observer, and you call this art.
Time of exhibition: from April 3, 2020 to May 3, 2020.
The project is funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture.
Excerpt from the electronic permit to enter Canada (see photo 1)