Exhibition time: 28 01 2020 - 22 02 2020
Venue: Meno Parkas Gallery (Rotušės a. 27, 44279 Kaunas, Lithuania)
Private View of exhibition "Sky is the Body" by Dovilė Martinaitytė-Tarallo will take place on January 28 (Tuesday) at 6 p.m. at Meno Parkas Gallery in Kaunas (Rotušės a. 27).
Exhibition curator Austėja Mikuckytė-Mateikienė
Sky is the Body
The project delves into the topic of a depressed body, claiming that a body is not just matter or an object. It is a biological, cultural, social and political construct with close correlations to its surroundings. The body is used as a scale to measure the depth of the soul and to cross the surface to dig deeper. At the time of mental anguish, the body experiences both psychological and physical pain. It is supinely pierced by unease, inner aggression and a flow of intense feelings. In her publications, Virginia Woolf described the unstable condition of a depressed human as “a body drowning in the sea of other bodies”. It fits the situation perfectly, defining a man who is unsteady, unrestful and emotionally spent; a man who finds himself in a world that “gobbles him up”. This is a reflection of the mental anxiety, diffidence and dependency on self-doubt of an individual in the society, where he cannot find his own place. The man is like a wax statuette, a melting, thawing, weakening body set on the path of self-destruction and self-rejection, impacted and unsettled by the rhythm of the life of the modern society. The integrity of the soul and body is damaged and a gaping wound can be seen. The indicator of emotional pain points upwards, while the man’s psychological plane expands ever more, opening up new and yet undiscovered roads. Where does the emotional field of a man end? How much can a soul bear? Can an individual draw the line and stop the fight himself?
Exhibition created by Dovilė Martinaitytė-Tarallo
The photographs of Dovilė Martinaitytė-Tarallo speak of depression in a subtle and aesthetic manner. Mental disorders is a topic demanding responsibility and some backbone. The way that the author looks at the problem from the inside out allows her to retain a deep insight and graceful eloquence.
The landscapes of India and the bodies ensconced in their environment are not literary or too forthright. The pieces of art also have no exaggerated carefulness or appeasement which would be yet another extreme. Susan Sontag made note of the phenomenon of catharsis. Through seeing the spine-chilling and dismal images in the photographs, we experience them on a whole new level and cleanse ourselves until we become tabula rasa. The works of D. Martinaitytė-Tarallo do not cause any fleeting sympathy. Instead, they invite to walk the most meaningful road, though not necessarily an easy one. The rough surface of the cliffs, hiding in the dark, clinging to the fissures of life, the sense of dirtiness, cringing and closing up. The photographs give clues that grow into universal truths. Each visitor of the exhibition can take whatever spiritual gifts he or she finds relevant, significant and instrumental in their life.
The glance of the blind pioneer must have reached the subconscious minds of many a person and become a synonym of the relationship between man and the prevailing political regime. A simple, yet nice life underneath the blooming apple trees. Both authors developed the Lithuanian school of humanist photography. The photograph made by D. Martinaitytė-Tarallo can also be called humanist. Of course, her photos have no compelling glances and the nature here is not an oasis of peace but rather a mirror to one’s inner anguish. The author resides in Switzerland and refuses to user modern techniques to shock people. Instead, she chooses her own personal creative road. Whilst maintaining the humanist glance, she does not follow the Lithuanian humanist traditions. She refuses to romanticize things and acknowledges the complexity of the disease, highlighting the severity of the surroundings.
The importance of lines and colors speak of the painting-like quality of the photographs of D. Martinaitytė-Tarallo. Minimalism, capacity for plot and recurring elements of the compositions gain a motif and create an integral entirety of the series that sounds and affects like a poem would.
Austėja Mikuckytė-Mateikienė, Art Historian
Exhibition is part of Meno Parkas gallery project "Aether. 2020". Project is supported by the Lithuanian Council for Culture.