May 10, 2024

The AUDRA festival is coming: bold statements by European artists in the most iconic city locations

The AUDRA festival is coming: bold statements by European artists in the most iconic city locations

Organisers of the contemporary city festival AUDRA revealed the full list of artists that will soon awaken Kaunas. This year, 16 promising artists from Europe and Lithuania will create a gourmet programme for art-hungry festival visitors. The city will soon be plunged into a real storm of art, music and culture – from VR experiences to architectural interventions and performances reviving the walls of industrial spaces.

We will get to know new horizons not only by creators, but by iconic locations as well - M. Žilinskas Art Gallery, which will soon be closed for reconstruction, and metal factory “Pergalė”. The art programme of AUDRA will invite visitors to explore the theme of “Islands and Archipelagos” and create new scenarios to familiar city locations.

“The island is a symbol of resistance, as well as a refuge from social, political and other oppressions. The islands are constantly growing and merging, transforming themselves and transforming the city, while at the same time reminding us that no island exists in complete isolation,” said the creators of the programme.

Installations – on three floors of the Mykolas Žilinskas Art Gallery

For four days in M. Žilinskas Gallery, visitors will be able to immerse themselves in the stunning visions of the exhibition curator Tautvydas Urbelis and exhibition architect Vladas Suncovas. Passing between three floors of installations, architectural interventions, computer-generated images, sounds, expressive and visual illusions, visitors will enter a new, fragmented world. It includes journeys through the invisible worlds of mushrooms and waters, transformations of materials and concepts, and all-overshadowing, hypnotic light.

Joey Holder, an artist balancing between London and Helsinki, who lives by philosophical ideas, will invite visitors to take a journey through the unknown spaces of the ocean. Performer and sound art creator Matilda Tjäder will surround M. Žilinskas Gallery with a sound collage, while interdisciplinary art creator Léa Porré will create a built-in installation combining digital and magical ornaments.

A handful of contemporary artists will present their works: Algirdas Jakas, who subtly combines the connection of materials and emotions, Eglė Ruibytė, who explores the poetry of industrial logistics, artists Emilija Povilanskaitė and Jurgis Lietunovas, who will present a new joint project for the AUDRA festival, Tomas Daukša, who manoeuvres between naive sincerity and deep convictions, and creates a relief of fountains in the AUDRA festival; Mykolas Valantinas, who studies photography, film and installation media, will question the status quo of Kaunas. The invisible world of mushrooms and its language will be transferred to the virtual world by Ringailė Demšytė, Saulė Miežytė will illuminate the dark gallery spaces with her sculptures, and Berlin-based designer Tsingyun Zhang, who creates and explores digital ruins, will cover the location with impressive CGI landscape.

Visions of the industrial world – in contemporary art performances

The performance programme at the metal factory “Pergalė” will remind visitors of the carnal and sensual nature of the industrial world. Performance artists moving between metal machines, cranes and anvils will bring long-forgotten spaces to a new life saturated with contemporary art.

One of the guests of the festival is Malik Nashad Sharpe, an artist known for his sharp, provocative and audience-engaging performances, also known as Marikiscrycrycry. The choreographer and master of movement explores the themes of coercion and violence in his works, and brings a dance performance that dives straight into the depths of psychological horror. You can see Malik at the AUDRA festival twice – the artist will present the performance both in M. Žilinskas Gallery and in the metal factory “Pergalė”.

Welsh artist Ella Skinner will also temporarily conquer the industrial spaces. Having started her creative path with literature, E. Skinner increasingly appeared on the experimental art scenes in Wales and England, and today she successfully creates installations and performances that challenge traditional forms of art and discipline. Rap star Iceboy Violet and the art they will present in the AUDRA festival is no exception – the centre of the art is an ice sculpture that constantly changes its shape, surrounded by sounds and vocals.

The spaces of the metal factory “Pergalė” will also be tamed by choreographer, performance artist Jette Loona Hermanis, who mainly creates in the Baltic countries. Together with Reyna Deyna, combining electronic sound and body movements, the artist evocatively depicts hyperreal situations, subtly separated by the veil of the digital world. This time her performance deals with themes of loneliness, sadness, and survival.

Indonesian duo Gabberis Modus Operandi will join the performances. Using examples of traditional Indonesian music, the project tries to bridge the gap between humour, contemporary music and established musical traditions. The artists who draw the line between what is sacred and what is banal will leave the final decision to the listeners, and with their performance will combine the art and music program held at the metal factory “Pergalė”.