Maskoliškiai Art Front
Location: Poet Dainius Gintalas homestead (or Laumžirgių homestead) near the River Širvinta, the district of Širvintai, the village of Maskoliškiai. Near the homestead there is a bizarre place, where ghosts haunt despite a cross (with two concave stones) has been erected here. Also there is a huge dried oak tree with a massive stork nest. On the other side of the river, on a hill – a small graveyard of Old Believers, or maskoliai. The name of Maskoliškiai has derived from this graveyard.
Time: Every years September or August. The festival lasts from 5 to 10 days, depending on the rotation angle of the participants neck verterbae and brain vanes. The first gathering was held in September 2000.
Idea: Three young men, tended towards art: Dainius Gintalas, historian Tomas Bakšys and specialist on local governments Sigitas Šiupinskas, after they had entered the barn protruding in the homestead, without a single soul except for an abandoned swallow nest, thought that they would necessary blow a spirit into this space and immediately decided to establish a gallery.
Barn Gallery: Probably the only gallery in Lithuania and maybe in the Baltic States which was set in an authentic barn. Immediately after the idea to install the space for displaying artworks had emerged S. Šiupinskas, who possessed strong electrical skills, started arduous work and all by himself made the entire illumination system, necessary for a reputable gallery.
(A brief remark: Please do not confuse it with the Culture Barn – the glorified by mighty promotional forces show that has nothing in common neither with the Makoliškiai Art Front nor with the Barn Gallery.).
Name of the show: During World War II wounded Russian soldiers lay in the barn in which the gallery is set now, and the River Širvinta drifted the blood from the soldiers bandages. Every art front is a particular way to honour an ordinary suffering human being.
Logo: The Piggy – The Barn Gallery itself and show invitations are decorated with the Piggys image. The Piggy can be related with the culture of animal breeding in a barn as well as with the parallels between a man and a pig or a man and an animal. From this point of view, it is a creative pig, pleasantly dizzied in nature.
Participants: Non-professional artists – poets, historians, engineers, economists, soldiers and officers of other different arts. The mentioned T. Bakšys, S. Šiupšinskas, D. Gintalas, poets Benediktas Januševičius, Žilvinas Andriušis, Gytis Norvilas, Julius Žėkas, designer and paste-up artist Ramūnas Urbanavičius and Salė Noizas (a pyrotechnist, Zen Buddhist and senior specialist on security systems, who latterly has joined the ranks of the fronters) have presented their works to the public.
Purposes and tasks: For husbands – to escape from wives; for parents – to escape from children; for people – to escape from the social environment. Thus having retreated from the urbanized world into the shelter of nature, half-wilded, near the River Širvinta they execute raging art manoeuvres taking part in painting, sculpture, installation and video art activities, poetical action and musical projects. Organizers have been running an open-air cinema during the event for several years now. The Art Front finishes by opening an exhibition in the Barn Gallery.
Alternative: Inspired by mens creativity and their bestial power, women decided to open their art front as well. Thus in July 2006 the Art Front of Plaštamargės was born.
Guests: The works of the fronters are paseds into the hands and eyes of their friends, close people, acquaintances and relatives, so-called a peculiar military tribunal. Musicians Aleksandras Makejevas, Domantas Razauskas, Remigijus Audiejaitis and writer Arūnas Spraunius, the representatives of VIPs, have helped to open the exhibition in the Barn Gallery.
Tour: Because the fronters have not closed themselves in their shells, the exhibition of the selected artworks has reached the Vilnius Teachers House, the hall of the Alytus Drama Theatre and the Gallery of “Sofa” in Druskininkai.
Makoliškiai Art Front on the Internet: Just visit the web site www.tekstai.lt, enter the sub-heading “phototexts” and you will see the illustration of all what has been talked about here.