In 2019, Kaunas Artists’ House residency programme “Unlearning Eastern Europe”* invites guest curators from Baltic countries and aims to reconsider the contemporary issues of the region, ranging from traumas of historical past, opportunities for decolonization to strategies of memory politics or activism. During December KAH is pleased to host the third curator to participate in this year’s programme – Anete Skuja (LV). At 6 pm, 19 December at Kaunas Photography Gallery (Vilnius st. 2) A. Skuja will conduct a lecture “Archival Impulse: tour through archive based photography art”.

The event will be held in English with translation to Lithuanian. Attending the event is free of charge.

“One of the defining characteristics of the modern era has been the increasing significance given to the archive as the means by which historical knowledge and forms of remembrance are accumulated, stored and recovered.” (Charles Merewether).

A growing number of artists nowadays seek to define their connection with art in the thickness of it’s relationship to history. More and more frequently, art finds itself looking back at the past. In this historiographical mode, above all, the archive or the document has become both the form and content used by many artists, seeking to retrieve and depict “alternative knowledge”. This artistic practice serves as a tool, that helps to access otherwise unavailable knowledge, offering alternative ways of remembering.

The lecture will present examples of artists, who use archival materials or structures as a part of their artistic practice, focusing on photography art scene in Baltic states.

Anete Skuja is an art historian, photographer and a freelance curator mostly working with photography. Currently studying for her MA at the Art Academy of Latvia, in the faculty of Art history, specializing in curatorial studies. Her current research is on the use of archival materials in the Baltic contemporary art.

The event is organised with Kaunas Gallery.

Kaunas Artists’ House residency programme “Unlearning Eastern Europe” was launched in 2019 and responds to the need for curatorial residencies and encourages to explore the potential of curatorship. The participant curators link their curatorial and artistic practices with activism, explore the various sociopolitical contexts of the Baltic region and possible new scenario activations. The programme aims to provide a supportive environment for critical discourse, curator-conducted research, its discussions within the framework of Kaunas, involving local artists, students, activists, academics and other city participants.

* The title “Unlearning Eastern Europe” is inspired research conducted by the programme’s first resident, Tanel Rander (EE).