Elucidate the wit, sanctify the spirit, clarify the intention
Thu 25 May 2023
Image from Rite of Return, courtesy of the artist. Visual design by Urtė Račiūnaitė.
Stretch, fold; twist to unravel anew.
Collective Dreaming is a three-part screening and research programme that weaves together Scottish, Ukrainian and Lithuanian moving images and thoughts in search of connection and collective liberation. Conceived in response to the ongoing war in Ukraine, the programme aims to question colonial, capitalist, and patriarchal systems of power to make sense of our current reality - a reality that we share, yet all experience from different perspectives. In this context, we look at art as a method to open ourselves up to new possibilities of thinking, relating and collaborating.
Imagination as a tool of repair. Through this first screening, we explore the act of fictioning as an artistic practice that envisions perspectives and futures outside of the dominant models of life in the present. Threading together different knowledges and visual approaches, the programme invites us to open our minds and bodies to the possibilities of alternative worlds, whether those beyond-the-human, yet-to-be-born or existing somewhere parallel to ours.
We start the screening with dendro dreams (Teta Tsybulnyk, Elias Parvulesco, 2018), situating us between the human and the non-human worlds. Documenting the fifteen “winners” of the National Trees of Ukraine competition, it investigates the prescription of the human gaze and cultural values upon nature. In turn, Amateur Botanist (Kotryna Ūla Kiliulytė, 2019) opens up a multi-species conversation about migration and imperialism circling around the notions of native and invasive. Moving further from the natural world, Khayt (Sashko Protyah, 2022) presents us with artistic speculation about Mariupol in 2068, where Azov Greeks are now actively participating in the creation of the city’s vibrant culture. Once humans have destroyed the world (again), CASTOROCENE (George Finlay Ramsay, 2021) envisions an unnamed beast who starts rebuilding it from zilch. Finally, weaving together pasts, presents and futures, we close the programme with Rite of Return (Ayla Dmyterko, 2021). Drawing from academia and folklore, the film performs a healing ritual in response to anxieties connecting to land and lack of community.
The screening will be followed by a conversation. It is free to attend, however, we would like to encourage the audience members to donate what they would otherwise be paying for a ticket to NGO Insight, an organisation supporting LGBTQI+ people during the war in Ukraine. There will be a donation box and a QR code in the screening room, or click here to donate now.
This programme is organised in partnership with the Lithuanian Culture Institute and Lithuanian Culture Attaché in London.
Curated by Julija Šilytė & Milda Valiulytė.
Part of Collective Dreaming