Algirdas Šeškus. Lyrics of Love
29 February – 10 March 2012
Private View and book launch: Wednesday 29 February 6 – 9pm. The Gallery. 99 Mount Street, London W1K 2TF
Anya Stonelake/White Space Gallery presents the first solo UK exhibition of Lithuanian-born Algirdas Šeškus, whose photographic work marked a turning point in Lithuanian contemporary photography. This exhibition brings together a selection of images from the his new book “Lyrics of Love”. Šeškus writes: “Well into my sixty five…its only now that I see to better understand love; or rather that feeling of longing – the most vivid sign of love or loss of it”.
For over 30 years Šeškus cultivated photography without any specific trend or direction: without proper topics, objects of artistic research, and conceptual projects, choosing the aesthetics of “amateurism” instead. This strategy enabled Šeškus to balance between artistic nihilism and fetishism of the creative act, between the underground and the official art scene, between collectivism and individualism. His photographs reveal the (anti)aesthetics of (neo)avant-garde – their experimentalism and originality stretching the established boundaries of Lithuanian photography.
A well known Lithuanian art critic Lev Anninsky describes Šeškus as rebel “against “romantic photography”…he revolts against the very condition that the content of the photograph is what reflected in it… He (Šeškus) describes himself as a “provincial with the camera” a man from the backwoods who has come to the “sea resort” or a “big city”.
His photographs are indistinct, blurred, “void of any order, messy” compositions; toneless, soft, reduced images, and unexciting, nonessential content. Šeškus does not title his photographs or indicate where and when they were taken. He proclaims, that photography has to be taken back to its origins: to the moment of fixing “when the very act of photography becomes an object of art.”
Šeškus’s works have influenced the rise of post-modernist tendencies in Lithuanian art photography. In the early 1980s the new photographic language was introduced by Alfonsas Budvytis, Vytautas Balčytis, Remigijus Pačėsa, Gintaras Zinkevičius, and other photographers of the new wave, who preferred the position of passive observers of reality as an alternative to the prevailing romantic vision of the world. His debut in 1980 took place at the Young Photographers’ Exhibition in Vilnius organized by the Association of Photographic Art and the works revealed a new phenomenon at odds with the Soviet culture. In 2010 he was a subject of major retrospective at The National Art Gallery of Lithuania. His publications include: “Green Novel” (2009), “Archives (Pohulianka)”, and most recently “Lyrics of Love” (2011).
White Space Gallery - Exhibitions of Algirdas Šeškus