The ties that bind
Thu 8 June 2023
Image from Dear Friend, 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.
It seems critical to ask what it means to belong in a programme with a regional focus. What and who does belong? What are the ties that bind into belonging? How are they formed, maintained or severed? In this last screening, the threads of family, community, place, coming of age, memory, grief and reciprocity come to the surface uncovering the tangle of kinship.
The last programme opens up with The Bearers of Memory (Miglė Križinauskaitė-Bernotienė, 2020). Juxtaposing the landscape of a riverbed, the photographic medium, facial and home interior details, the work reflects on the many directions of time and the haziness of memory with a matrilineal line at the centre. Halo Nevus (Tako Taal, 2018) too follows matrilineal ties evident in the body. Boundaries - of immunity and national identity - intertwine through working with the land. Familial ties are also central to kitchen.blend (Nataliya Ilchuk, 2021). The feeling of grief is embodied in the urge to thoroughly recreate a Soviet-style grandparent’s kitchen with digital tools. Through hair and buildings, Roots (Jonas Juškaitis, 2021) talks about coming of age in a space marked with signs of Soviet occupation. The last part of the programme moves to the reciprocity of belonging. A Love (Anne-Marie Copestake, 2019) highlights tender engagement, and the various forms of love and the desire for all lives to prosper, while Dear Friend (Agnė Jokšė, 2019) portrays a story of a broken friendship. Here, the reading of a letter to a dear friend, both an intimate confession and an artist statement, questions the societal boundaries that demarcate the possibilities of kinship.
This screening 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