Two Crazy Weekends
It so coincided that 13th international art fair ArtVilnius’22 and the second Photography Weekend'22 organised by us happened one after the other. Both of these events are of a great importance to me - a way to present my photographs live to the public. Exhibitions, social networks don't give such a clear idea - it's a bubble. Shows are mostly attended by acquaintances and friends who already know what I'm doing and which direction I'm taking, the same is true for social media - FB friends, Instagram followers are less and less likely to be surprised by anything. They all know my style and formats. From time to time there is something new to show - like taking a rabbit out of a hat. Meanwhile, in Art Vilnius, you stand alone with your work, next to established artists, and see how people react. You see people passing by indifferently or briefly stumbling by, but you also see people interested. It was very rewarding to receive so many compliments and kind words. Basically, it has reinforced my position as a photographer - that what I create can not only be liked, but can also be bought, hung in homes and offices on the walls or even collected. Also, I learned that I am no longer completely unknown - many people said that they saw my exhibition in the attic of the Bernardine Church. Thus, I am very grateful to Dovilė Dagienė and Vilnius Photography Art Centre "7:14" for inviting me to participate in this fair. We were the only ones presenting solely photography in the fair, standing out with an integral black and white exposition in the vast sea of colourful art. I also invite you to a 3D tour of ArtVilnius’22, our stand is here and here.
The second Photography Weekend'22 is an event organised by a group of photography enthusiasts, including myself. The first one organised last year in a month, made a good impression on everyone and was warmly welcomed not only by participants, but also by the visitors. Thus, instead of being a one-day event, FW'22 has become a proper weekend - a two-day event. And perhaps most importantly, the event moved from beautiful Smoke Factory to the National Gallery of Art. Smoke Factory, though a lovely place, seemingly specially designed for such events, became already a bit too small for us. It is located in the outskirts of the city, while the fascinating gallery space is in the heart of Vilnius. The 1000 square meter exhibition space accommodated 54 photographers with their work, the book space was moved to the foyer, while talks and presentations took place in a separate auditorium. New participants were selected by a special jury, and in addition to photographers from Vilnius, there were also guests from Kaunas, Klaipeda and Panevezys. Almost all of the most famous Lithuanian photographers took part, with Rimantas Dichavičius and Antanas Sutkus being the main crowd-pleasers of FW'22. It was also a pleasure to see the works of the deceased colleagues - Juozas Kazlauskas and Romualdas Rakauskas - their photographic legacy continues to be cared for by their families. Thus, the Photography Weekend, which has been buzzing for two days, has risen to a higher level, both in terms of the space, the display culture, the sound quality of the presentations and discussions, not to mention the preparation of the participants themselves. There was also no shortage of visitors - according to the gallery, more than 3000 people attended the weekend. This is truly rewarding, but what was most pleasing was the atmosphere and the benevolence among the colleagues. I believe that such weekends will become an integral part of Lithuanian photography.