12th Kaunas Biennial | June-September 2019


dji_0006-00_05_52_14-still007-2Traveling used to be romanticised. A long journey used to be compared to the symbolic journey through life. There are numerous proverbs about journeys and traveling, both in the physical and spiritual senses. It is said that a journey is an antidote to prejudice, blind attachments, and narrow-mindedness. That the aim of traveling is to reshape your imagination after the reality you have seen. There is a Chinese proverb that a good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.

Not only is traveling romanticised. There are people who travel to discover themselves and the Other. There are people who run away from death and violence. This is how it has been since the beginning of time. During your journey, you can discover endless goodness of people, but you may also be forced to experience their blind cruelty. We learn about it from the history and memory, myths and legends. The process of traveling is inseparable from the unknown and the dangers waiting ahead. However, every piece of news about a disaster and about an arrival that is not going to happen, turns the lives of people upside down, makes them lose balance and exposes them to the fact that today’s world (and its secular person) does not want to acknowledge that the journey of all of us has just one direction…

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NETWORKED ENCOUNTERS publication series – 4 BOOKS

By the end of project NETWORKED ENCOUNTERS (2015- 2016) co-funded by EU Creative Europe, the partners Kaunas Biennial, LAB 582, Crafts Council and Arte&Arte are happy to share with you all 4 publications online. Paper books are also available via e-mail order. 


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Guided Tours

gidesTake a guided tour through the Kaunas Biennial exhibitions! Our guides are qualified art historians and critics, who are especially trained to unlock the secrets behind the works on show and help you untangle the ideas and meanings behind the exhibitions.

The tours can be organised for smaller or larger groups or conducted individually. Tours take place in the principal Kaunas Biennial exhibition at Kaunas Central Post Office building, M. Žilinskas Art Gallery and Kaunas Picture Gallery. To register please call +37062998182 or e-mail

Guided tours in Lithuanian – 8 Eur, English – 12 Eur.

Working hours on public holidays

Please be advised that due to public holidays all venues of the 10th Kaunas Biennial “Networked” will close one hour earlier on Saturday, October 31, 2015 and all exhibitions will be closed on Sunday, November 1, 2015. 

The educational programme Know, Learn, Create and Join

“Plaukuota burna” Pailikono teatras ir grupė CHUI. Foto: Remio Ščerbausko

“Plaukuota burna” Pailikono teatras ir grupė CHUI. Foto: Remio Ščerbausko

The educational programme Know, Learn, Create and Join in for the 10th edition of Kaunas Biennial invites art professionals, students and young people, children, families, the elderly and everyone interested or wanting to know more about contemporary art to a variety of events. The programme consists of four main parts:

KNOW – art and architecture historian and critic, musician and journalist-led curated tours around the Biennial exhibitions and non-museum based installations in [post]industrial sites.

LEARN – a programme of school lessons (physics, chemistry, geography, mathematics, music, drama, etc.) taught at Biennial venues by our team of educators.

CREATE – fun and creative family-friendly weekend activities at the Kaunas central post office exhibition led by artists.

JOIN IN – a special programme of curated workshops and seminars designed for people with special needs is delivered in accordance with Lithuanian museum educators.

The programme of events is announced and regularly updated on Kaunas Biennial website. All of the events are in Lithuanian, although visitors from abroad are also welcome to join in.

For more information please contact Neringa Stoškutė (by e-mail: or tel.: +37062998182)

Important Announcement: New opening hours at [Post]factory Drobe

KONSORTIUM – Lars Breuer / Sebastian Freytag / Guido Münch, Division. Addition. Foto: Remis Ščerbauskas

KONSORTIUM – Lars Breuer / Sebastian Freytag / Guido Münch, Division. Addition. Foto: Remis Ščerbauskas

From Friday October 2, 2015 [Post]factory Drobe will have new opening hours. 

We anticipate the later start through the week and extra working day on weekends will be appreciated by those of you who work during the day. If you haven’t explored this unique exhibition make sure you visit it before the exhibition ends on 30 Oct, 2015.

New Hours from October 2, 2015

Tue – Sat: 3pm – 7pm

Visitor information
[Post]factory Drobė
Address: Drobės g. 62, Kaunas LT 45188
KONSORTIUM – Lars Breuer / Sebastian Freytag / Guido Münch, Division. Addition
Guda Koster, Made in Kaunas
From Agora to Syntagma (curated by Karmen Krasić Kožul and Danijela Oberhofer Tonković, artistic concept Elisabeth Schimana). Presented by LAB852

Presentation of the New book Contemporary Art Biennial as a Site Specific Event: Local versus Global

Project Daily Bread by Vėjūnė Sudarytė, 8th kaunas biennial, 2011. Photo: Remis Ščerbauskas.

Project Daily Bread by Vėjūnė Sudarytė, 8th kaunas biennial, 2011. Photo: Remis Ščerbauskas.

On Saturday, 3 October at 4pm in M. Žilinskas art gallery (Nepriklausomybės sq. 12) a new publication Contemporary Art Biennial as a Site Specific Event: Local versus Global dedicated to the 10th edition of Kaunas Biennial will be presented.
The founder of Liverpool Biennial Lewis Biggs as well as the artistic director of Kaunas Biennial Virginija Vitkienė will take part in the presentation and discussion on the biennial as a global phenomenon of world culture and its interactions with the local cultural field. The editor of the publication Daiva Citvarienė will moderate the discussion.

This publication is an international collaborative project, where world famous exhibition curators, founders of art biennials and art theorists using examples from Liverpool, Bucharest, Kaunas, Sharjah, Taipei and other biennials analyze the local and global paradoxes in the history of the biennial phenomenon. Read more

Kaunas Biennial starts from Nicolas Bourriaud exhibition THREADS: A FANTASMAGORIA ABOUT DISTANCE

Nicolas Bourriaud


“Telegraph and telephone destroy the cosmos. Mythical and symbolic thinking strive to form spiritual bonds between humanity and the surrounding world, shaping distance into the space required for devotion and reflection: the distance undone by the instantaneous electric connection.”  Aby Warburg Threads-A3

Fantasmagory, both as a technique and an ideology of the image, could be the forgotten historical model for today’s art practices: the way artists embroider stories in a mixture of fictions and social reality, inhabiting the interstices between the real, the illusion, the image and its interpretations, seems to connect to the ambitions of the 18th century’s ‘fantasmagorists’ — their will to include the viewer into total environments that recall our installations, the way they combined scientific ambitions, esoteric knowledge and spectacular practice.

Already at the end of the eighteenth century, Philidor and Robertson, the first ‘fantasmagores’, share some traits with contemporary artists: between enlightment and entertainment, science and magic, painting and theatre, prestidigitation and political issues (Robespierre and Danton were among the revolutionary figures invocated by Robertson in his spectacles), they appear as prototypes for the contemporary artist…  Contemporary to the fantasmagories was the invention of telegraphy (from the greek word tele, far and graphein, write), the long-distance transmission of written messages without physical transport of letters. A semaphore network was invented by Claude Chappe in France, which operated from 1792 through 1846; an electrical telegraph was independently developed in the United States in 1837 by Samuel Morse. 

Threads’ ambitions are both to approach the form of fantasmagoria and to address the way today’s artists include the notion of distance in their works: in a globalized and digitalized world, how does art deal with transportation, real time communication? What is the current shape of the presence/absence dialectics? How do artists present absent realities? “Move bits, not atoms”, said the web activist Nicholas Negroponte in the 1990s.

As a metaphor, Threads also stresses the parallels between today’s art and the spectacle of fantasmagory, focusing on the similarities with this proto-movie theatre both in terms of techniques and intellectual issues, and leads the way to another possible history of art, where feature films and installations would share a common ancestor.

By doing so, it alludes to the spectral as an emerging mode of visualisation anchored in internet culture: furtive apparitions, gaseous, infra-thin or filigree-like images, pseudo-telepathy, ventriloquy or magnetic phenomena are part of a new culture of the visible aiming to reconcile science and poetry, technology and image analysis, but in a production context dominated by digital tools.

Based on this link between science, poetry and spiritualism, Threads is an exhibition about art as a system that connects itself to a different time and/or space.  The artwork as a telegraphic device, entering into contact with something happening somewhere else, in another realm, world, place or times…

Artists of the exhibition: Saâdane Afif, Arnas Anskaitis, Hicham Berrada, Walead Beshty, Roberto Cabot, Attila Csorgo, Bronė Sofija Gideikaitė, Liam Gillick, Lothar Hempel, Carsten Höller, Katja Novitskova, Pakui Hardware (Černiauskaite Neringa & Ugnius Gelguda), Katie Paterson, Amalia Ulman, Julijonas Urbonas, Kelley Walker, Darius Žiūra.