Eglė Mikalajūnė

RAIZVANGUARDA has the pleasure of hosting curator and critic Eglė Mikalajūnė from Vilnius, Lithuania! If you’d like to hear what Mikalajūnė is working on during her residency, read her interview below.

Tell us about yourself, what do you do?
I am a curator at the National Gallery of Art in Vilnius (Lithuania), freelance art critic, a teacher at Vilnius Academy of Arts and volunteer at Vilnius City Mental Health Center

In which field of art do you work, what topics are important for you as an artist? What are you passionate about?
I work mostly with contemporary art. In recent years, I am interested in working with new artistic productions and especially collaborative projects, including projects with scientists, communities, entrepreneurs, historians, theatre professionals, etc.; most of the projects are dedicated to local contexts.

Where are you from? What is your educational background?
I am from Vilnius, Lithuania, I have BA in Art History and Theory and MA in Art History and Criticism

What attracted you to come to RV as a resident?
For me, so-called “peripheries” are much more interesting than “the centres” and for this reason I chose Portugal which is a small country and shares certain similarities with my (small) homeland: both had dictatorship during Cold War years, these days they are on similar an economical level and their languages have quite similar phonetics. However, Portugal is located on the opposite side of Europe from Lithuania. All this can give interesting insights on so-called “parallel evolutionary processes”.

I am also interested in small towns as a contrast to capitals and big cities. Cities have well-developed but also very predictable art systems. In contrary, small towns with their rather non-existing art audiences can become a real challenge or adventure to an artist or a curator.

What project are you working on?
I am working on a collaborative art project “Best wishes to a curious (wo)man”, with Stanley Mitchell, Maria Ferreira, Evgenia Emets, Yuri Nezovič, Neil Tomkins, Luís Carvalho, Sevda Khatamian and Denisas Kolomyckis. The work combines visual imagery with artistic texts and found objects, it includes historical, geographical and economic aspects of Goís and is in seven languages (English, Farsi, Lithuanian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Turkish). The work will be exhibited in a nature spot that is secured from rain, direct sun and sudden temperature changes and with time it will turn into a present for a curious local or a visitor of the town. There are many chances that neither of authors might ever know the future owner of the work, however, we hope that (s)he will appreciate our warm wishes to him/her.

What is your favorite part of RV?
Possibilities to work with a local context and to collaborate with artists in residency.

If you would like to know more about Mikalajūnė, you can find her on Facebook and Instagram and you can visit the website of the gallery of the National Gallery of Art in Lithuania to view more of Mikalajune’s work.

Here are a few pictures of Mikalajūnė’s project and the placement of the work:

Photos by Yuri Nezovič: