Ramune Pigagaite / Ljudi mog grada
Otvaranje: 12. januar 2021. 19 sati
(12.1 – 21.1.2022)
Izložba People of My Town Litvanske fotografkinje Ramune Pigagajte (Ramunė Pigagaitė) biće otvorena 12. januara u 19 časova u Galeriji SULUV.
Izložba se realizuje u okviru Programa saradnje i partnerskih realizacija, Saveza udruženja likovnih umetnika Vojvodine, Fondacije „Novi Sad – Evropska prestonica kulture”, Кaunas 2022 i Кaunas Photo Gallery
Na izložbi „Ljudi mog grada“, Ramune Pigagaite, fotografkinja rođena u Litvaniji koja trenutno boravi u Nemačkoj, predstavlja seriju započetu 2000. godine, u kojoj se vraća u detinjstvo, dok snima ljude svog rodnog grada Varene (Varėna) kako poziraju sa njihovim profesionalnim priborom.
Prema istoričarki umetnosti Agne Narusite (Agnė Narusytė), „ljudi grada Varene su kao sveci koje su majstori narodnih zanata isklesali od drveta, ne puštajući svoje dodatke, držeći se za njih kao za svoju ličnost. Da nije bilo ovih dodataka, ne moglo bi se reći ko su. Priče o njihovom radu, radostima i patnjama zauvek bi bile izgubljene.“
People of My Town
These simple and, at the same time, inexplicably strange people, whom you shall see in a moment, are residents of Varėna [Lithuania] – a town surrounded by woods. With this series, started in 2000, Ramunė Pigagaitė, a locally born photographer currently residing in Germany, returns to her childhood, when the adult world felt so luring with its unintelligible signs, when occupational accessories were coalesced together with the people who “wore” them, and her imagination was picturing their lives as it pleased.
Now, too, picturing these lives is left up to our imagination – people are posing by a white wall which provides no information about them. This wall, however, is not an ordinary one – it belongs to a grocery store that has forever been and will always remain this small town’s centre of attraction. Here is where, in the author’s words, “they all gather together, chat, gossip, and consult with one another”.
The photographer, however, draws these people away from their daily hustle-and-bustle, inviting them to help stage her own childhood memories. From the audience’s perspective, there is just a person and the provincial character they embody, their professional “self”. All of them are standing – at full height, facing the camera, all of them formally uniform.
The small town, embodied in the imperfect human figures, begins to shift – everyone experiences the confrontation with the camera in their own way. The bodies and their accessories obediently follow the directions of the author’s memories but the look in the subjects’ eyes remains questioning (about what? – no one really knows) as if the meaning of the game has remained unclear to them. Images from the past and a distrustful gaze in the present – a disturbing combination.
People of Varėna town are like saints carved from wood by the masters of folk craftsmanship, not letting go of their accessories, holding on to them as to their selfhood. If it were not for these accessories, no one could tell who they were. Stories of their work, joys and sufferings would be forever lost.They would all become anonymous, strangers without a past or present, and the looks in their eyes captured in photographs, like in the statues of saints, would remain vague in their efforts to tell us something from “the other side”.
And yet, it is here especially wherein the paradox of these photographs lies. These accessories are such everyday-like, ordinary household tools that in the hands of some of the townspeople, posing dignifiedly, they appear comical. But similar tools were owned by some of the saints – St. Martha’s ladle and worker’s knife both belong to the same housewife’s arsenal. And from an axe, one can recognize St. Boniface; from a snake, St. Benedict of Nursia; from a loaf of bread, St. Agatha.
The objects of the saints are symbolic, they tell their life stories. The accessories belonging to Varėna residents are little more than references to equally banal occupations. But the looks in their owners’ eyes, intent or self-absorbed, scampish or distrustful, somewhat oppose such a utilitarian narrative of tools. In the crack of such misalignment, every individual’s authentic experience, their time lived, begins to unravel.
Thus, photography can convey to us something about time. At first glance, it is an unrealizable undertaking – to photograph one’s childhood nearly thirty years later. Social structures have changed, occupations have become obsolete, factories have been closed, and people have grown old and passed away.
But Ramunė Pigagaitė has succeeded in moulding the past out of the present. That strange misalignment creates an atmosphere of frozen time – the dialect of provincial fashion and occupations is ever-lasting. Fragments of memories have been captured in the unperishing objects, they flash in the present like a flash of scissors on a flower-patterned dress, like a snake’s stab into the void, like a train station’s watchwoman’s uniform – almost as if from fairy tales.
1966 born in Varėna, Lithuania.
1984-1988 degree in acting at Vilnius Conservatory.
1988-1991 engagement at the Marijampolė Theatre.
1992 move to Germany.
1994-2000 degree in Photography at the University of Mainz (prof. V. Spacek).
2000 Lithuanian State Scholarship for Young Artists.
Exhibitions (selected): Palais Jalta, Frankfurt 1997; Dorfbewohner [Villagers], photonet in the thalhaus, Wiesbaden 1999; Morte-Ernte [Morte-Harvest], photonet, Wiesbaden 2001; Fotogalerie, Vilnius 2001; Brüro Für Fotos, Cologne 2001; Old Museum Centre, Belfast 2002; Galerie Schwarz, Greifswald 2003; Menschen meiner Stadt [People of My Town], photonet, Wiesbaden 2004; Zentralbibliothek, Frankfurt 2005; Prospekto Galerie, Vilnius, 2006; National Library, Vilnius, 2006; Georg Scholz Haus Kunstforum, Waldkirch 2006; Giedre Bartelt Galerie, Berlin 2007; Im Hospital [In Hospital], photonet, Wiebaden 2008.
Group exhibition (selected): Cleaning Woman, photonet, Wiesbaden 2006; Museum für Moderne Kunst 2007, Ningbo China; Baltic Pop, Giedre Barelt Galerie, Berlin 2008
Art fairs (selected): Art Frankfurt 2002-2005; Kunst Köln 2002-2004; Cologne Fine Art 2005-2007; Artcologne 2005-2008; Photo London 2006
Important series: Literatur im Portrait [Literature in Portrait], 1993; Dorfbewohner [Villagers], 19961998 ; Ernte [Harvest] 1997-1999; Menchen meinter Stadt [People of My Town], 2000-2007; Badende [Bathers] 2001-2004; Cleaning Women, 2004-2006; Im Hospital [In Hospital], 2006-2007.
Works of the artist are exhibited in: Hesse State Parliament, Wiesbaden; Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach; Baden Württembergische Landesbank; private collections in Germany, France, Switzerland.
Lives and works in Frankfurt on Main
Fotografije sa otvaranja