REWIND HISTORY is a series of artworks that questions the understanding of textile as a genre of reproduction that has been formed in art history. The series was exhibited in Kaunas biennial exhibition Rewind History curated by Rasa Andriušytė-Žukienė. The curator highlighted the aspect of reproduction (which is inseparable from both the history of tapestry in Western Europe from the 17th century to the 20th century and Jacquard weaving technology) as the foundation of creative interpretations at the exhibition. She asked textile artists that are currently active what Lithuanian artists and works have had an impact on their creative decisions, or are simply remarkable or had become visual icons. She selected a collection from the works mentioned by the artists, which then became a subjective (textile) Lithuanian art history of the 20th and 21st century.
The artworks were shown in Kaunas Biennial in 2011, at Estonian Museums of Applied Art and Design, the Palace of the Dukes of Braganza (Portugal).
The artwork. A clearly articulated understanding of contemporary painting came to Lithuanian painting with the arrival of Jonas Gasiūnas. It’s extremely hard to sow innovative ideas in a country that likes nuanced tradition more than experimentation. Today people have recognized that Jonas Gasiūnas strongly conceptualized painting. Consciously using opposing meanings, banal images, levels of visualness that have different natures (painting, graffiti, and fumage), he changes the attitude toward painting step by step as an art of individual expression, and forces one to re-think its meaning in the present. It is a present where there is often a lack of simplicity, stability, and values, but one that is overflowing with visual noise, contradicting news, amnesia of memory and feeling of repressions – a lot of unpleasant things that is coming from media tools, and a lot from what has been experienced or gone through by generations of people. They were fated to live on this side of the Iron Curtain in the second half of the 20th century. The bewildering atmosphere of a psychedelic run of restrictions familiar to people living in the territories east of Berlin lingers in the paintings of Jonas Gasiūnas. Those that did not experience this atmosphere because they were not born in Eastern Europe or later will notice the allusions to the myths, archetypical images or stereotypical behaviors of the anonymous city dweller in his paintings.
History and the past are important for Jonas Gasiūnas. It is re-thought, but not celebrated or even questioned. He claims that for him, reality seems to be unknowable and deceptive. He has said that “sometimes it reveals itself as the threatening ghost of the past”.
The picture “Radar” gives rise to a number of associations: graffiti, a tower, alert ears, all-seeing eye. The rose color of a sunrise or sunset here does not wish everyone a good day.
The artwork was prepared by Monika Žaltauskaitė-Grašienė.