Birutė Letukaitė & Vita Gelūnienė & Evaldas Jansas & “Aura” Dance Theatre (Lithuania) “The Hunt of the Unicorn”
Artists: Birute Letukaite, Vita Geluniene, Evaldas Jansas
Dance: Skaidra Jancaite, Gabija Gurskaite, Rikka Ihalainen, Ruta Kavaliauskiene, Saulius Kavaliauskas, Ema Nedobezkina, Jokubas Nosovas, Julijus Nosovas, Indre Puisyte
Design: Aurimas Rekasius
Style and make-up: Ausra Kleizaite
Weaving assistant: Kristina Cyziute
Early in 2011 textile artist Vita Geluniene and choreographer Birute Letukaite decided to collaborate developing a project for interdisciplinary program “Play”. “For some time I had this idea that my weaving should not only tell a story in two dimensional space, bus as well reveal time dimension. Time during which the story is told, is no less important than the story itself, it becomes a connecting link between the stories, the narrator and the events of that time. In my visions I saw characters who move in the background of the fabric embodying the story of “The Hunt of the Unicorn”– Vita Geluniene explains. Unicorn is a most common theme of medieval tapestries (eg, the cycle “The Lady and the Unicorn” .1480-90). Unicorn in tapestries is a symbol of innocence, which can only be approached by a virgin. It brings luck and good. Internet browsing may reveal that unicorn can be defined as a symbol of courage, dignity, wisdom, however at the same time it symbolizes pride, rage, destructive power and sexual sublimation. In short, it is life. Choreographer Birute Letukaite visited the studio where Vita Geluniene wove, they discussed Vita’s visions and the possibilities of fulfilling them. After the chat it was clear, that the advantage of this project is not the authorship, but cooperation, which can produce a whole new story – a new vision. It was decided that the best medium for this story is video. So Vita Geluniene proposed to collaborate for video artist Evaldas Jansas. In late June, three and “Aura” Dance Theatre dancers during one day shoot what they were preparing for several months. In the video film Evaldas Jansas using his vision and artistic manner reveals the story in video, as Birute Letukaite does it with the language of dance, and Vita Geluniene revealed speaking the language of tapestries.
Vita Geluniene is an artist, educator, international artistic project coordinator. She graduated from Vilnius Art Academy, Kaunas Art Institute, where she earned her textile-specialty. She has taught at VDA KDI, Dubli National Academy of Art and Design, Galway Mayo University of Technology Faculty of Fine Arts. She is a member of European Textile Network, Textile Artists Guild, the Lithuanian Artists’ Union. In her works she is using the classical tapestry weaving techniques. Communicating through representations of a human body the artist discusses the topics of performative identity,, routine, a place of male and female in the society, man and women relations. She was main organizer of Kaunas Biennial from 2004 to 2007, in 2009 and 2010 she was a borad member. Vita Geluniene was awarded Lithuanian Artists’ Association Gold Badge No.18 , her works have been awarded diplomas at international exhibitions “Soft World” and “Line”. Art critic Virginia Vitkiene, describes Vitas work: “From the outset, the main Vita Geluniene artistic eloquence “tool” has become the human body, the first works it is unfolding for the perceiver as the post-structural text (which communicates interactively and is based on the play of connotations between body and environmental relationships), and in the last tapestries – as the body without internal organs, postbody.
Evaldas Jansas is a graduate of Vilnius Art Academy, department of painting, however most of his work is in the field of performance and video art. Currently living and working in Vilnius, in his works he acts as anthropologist and documentalist, (auto)biographer who records routine of his own and the others. Farce, transgressive critique of social norms and accepted lifestyles is the common strategy in his works. One of the authors for CAC TV. His works have been shown in festivals in Tel Aviv, Paris, Berlin, Madrid, etc. He is the author of more than 12 personal and participant in 40 group exhibitions, author of the book “Ode to routine” (2000). In the year 1999 he was awarded with the grant of Soros Contemporary Art Centre, in 1996, 1998, 2000, 2009 with the grant of The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania.