Curator: Kathrin Becker

Academic Training Group
Arnis Balcus
Thomas Demand
Olafur Eliasson
Jens Haaning & Peter Land
Annika von Hausswolff
Pertii Kekarainen
Vladislav Mamyshev-Monro
Mariola Przyjemska
Mark Raidpere
Heli Rekula
Annica Karlsson Rixon
Torbjųrn Rųdland
Miron Schmückle
Anatolij Shuravlev
Peter Skovgaard
Vibeke Tandberg
Wolfgang Tillmans
Artur Zmijewski

After successful presentations at Stadtgalerie Kiel and Kunsthalle Rostock, the exhibition ‘Can you hear me? 2nd Ars Baltica Triennial of Photographic Art’ will come the Contemporary Art Centre (CAC) in Vilnius, Lithuania on 9th June 2000. We are delighted to invite you to attend the exhibition opening.

The exhibition presents current works employing photography from Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Sweden and Russia. It investigates to what extent the tendencies of globalisation as a result of new technologies and the velocity of present day life, but also the developments of global mass culture, of pop music and MTV, the manifestations of youth culture and associated consumerism find expression in an ‘internationalisation’ of the current art scene‘s visual codes.

The development of a concept for ‘Can you hear me?’ focused on photography as an artistic medium and on ten countries in the Baltic area; on the member countries of the Ars Baltica Initiative. These are characterised by a wide range of cultural and historical diversity (for example, as many as five – not including Germany – are ex-communist countries), but at the same time they are also part of the ‘global village’.

In this sense, the Baltic region is a model of social, cultural and political developments worldwide, an ideal pars pro toto. ‘Can you hear me?’ presumes that a successively advancing ‘internationalisation’ may be observed within the art scene. The title of the exhibition indicates this, and implies that this internationalisation could also signify a democratisation of visual language. The logical consequence for current art production would be the assumption that a contemplation of national characteristics and the maintenance of a cultural heritage is becoming increasingly obsolete.

‘Can you hear me?’ has not been structured as a thematic exhibition. During research in the countries involved, however, certain comparable pictorial themes took clear shape, interconnecting the standpoints examined in many ways: depictions of an ‘identity in flux’ (Academic Training Group, Arnis Balcus, Vladislav Mamyshev-Monro, Mark Raidpere, Vibeke Tandberg), representations of the male and female (Annika von Hausswolff, Heli Rekula, Annica Karlsson Rixon, Torbjųrn Rųdland, Miron Schmückle, Wolfgang Tillmans, Artur Zmijewski), the construction of space (Thomas Demand, Jens Haaning & Peter Land, Pertii Kekarainen, Annica Karlsson Rixon, Torbjorn Rodland, Anatolij Shuravlev, Wolfgang Tillmans), the construction of nature (Olafur Eliasson, Annika von Hausswolff, Torbjųrn Rųdland, Miron Schmückle, Peter Skovgaard), and ‘media constructs’ (Mariola Przyjemska, Anatolij Shuravlev).