Daily Life: Photography from Lithuania has been organized by the Lithuanian Photographers’ Association (LPA) as part of an ongoing partnership between the cultural community of Lithuania and The Print Center. The exhibition was selected by artist and Chairman of the LPA Gintaras Česonis. The show provides an overview of some of the most significant photographic works created in Lithuania during the past fifty years. Each of the twelve artists presented uses the camera to observe and capture the routines of everyday life, which are both stable and simultaneously subject to constant change, replacement and erasure. As the writer Milda Kiaušaitė put it, “Daily routine is where we are, and as everything that is the closest, it becomes virtually invisible.”
The exhibition features artists from two generations, one worked under the repression and censorship of Soviet occupation and another since independence in 1990. In these images, we see their commonplace existence, which often borders on the absurd, complete with the grime and pain accumulated in the corners of history and of individual lives.
The older generation, active in the 1960s and 70s, is comprised of a group of artists considered the masters of Lithuanian photography including Romualdas Augūnas, Aleksandras Macijauskas, Antanas Miežanskas, Romualdas Požerskis, Romualdas Rakauskas and Antanas Sutkus. These photographers did not work to provoke social conflict, but rather publicized and highlighted the universal problems of being during the Soviet era. Other photographers from that time, such as Vitas Luckus and Algirdas Šeškus, subscribed to avant-garde style, communicating in a different visual language.
The more recent generation of photographers, which has emerged since 2000, includes Gintaras Česonis, Mindaugas Kavaliauskas, Donatas Stankevičius and Arturas Valiauga, speak to us in the language of today. Their work is characterized by an analysis of varied surroundings, groups of people and phenomena. They schematize and inventory experiences and life events, often with an almost clinical quality. Their photography is not impulsive; instead it is calculated and carefully plotted.