This film is based on already existing video material. The artist has acquired material from Lithuanian National TV archive which documents the action of taking down the sculpture of Lenin. In addition he has bought a video footage of the same action from a freelance video reporter. So, there is two-camera perspective on the event. The images of taking down the sculpture of Lenin in Vilnius are really known around, as the materials were widely broadcasted by CNN and some other major media networks. The images of Lenin hanging above the crowd and waving his hand were repeated thousand times by CNN during the last decade as the symbol of the disintegration of Soviet Union and failure of the idea of communism. In this new work the materials are edited in a way that it will look as the crowd is preparing and then celebrating the erection of the sculpture of Lenin.
“The thoughts behind the work are not about nostalgia for a former times. In many East European countries (which are going under extreme new liberal development of their economies) there are quite large number of people who are missing some social ideas, dreams, or even utopias. As the reality of Soviet Union is becoming alien and forgotten for majority of East Europeans, the ideas of socialism again becoming actual and a possible to be discussed as an alternative for the extreme new liberalism. For the younger generation communism is becoming something very exotic. Definitely, it doesn’t refer to them as a state of terror against individual and ideology of the colonization of entire nations. On the other hand, the recent past in the East is denied by the new politicians. Some of them (who originally started their political careers before the changes of the 90’s) becoming a sort of right wing populists. Often their rhetoric’s somehow reminds something from the past. So there is something scary about some even hardly possible repetition of not so distant past.” (Deimantas Narkevicius) —gbagency
Deimantas Narkevičius is an artist and filmmaker born in 1964 in Utena, currently based in Vilnius. He graduated sculpture at Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts and spent a year in London in 1992/93, which affected his later interest in site-specific art and concern with the concept of place in a broader discursive sense.
Since the late Nineties he mostly works in film and video, experimenting with the film structure and thematizing the weight of subjective memories and personal revisions of the History. As the artist has himself stated a number of times, his films in a certain way are extended sculptures, not only closely adjusted to the physical sites of their installation, but also thematically departing from very specific personal circumstances or experiences. Nevertheless, working in different film formats, often inserting fragments of other media – drawing, found photograph and footage into his films, Narkevičius expands temporal and spatial boundaries of his narratives. With… read more