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Rupert

Vilnius, LT

 

 

 

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Vilnius Times (1'54" video excerpt)

 

On the 26th of February, Rupert presented a showcase of works by February residents, Laurie Kang and Santiago Taccetti, at the Pakrantė gallery space and in Kang’s studio (Vaidilutes st. 79, Vilnius). The showcase brought together the works they had been developing over their period in residency at Rupert.

There is a long tradition of walking and thinking: they are acts that can be politically subversive (see the Situationists International), dandyish and voyeuristic (see the flâneurand flâneuse), meditative, boring, pointless and unproductive (see Frédéric Gross, Robert Macfarlane).  Laurie Kang and Santiago Taccetti have taken many walks around Rupert.  In the work developed and shown here, they have gathered their observations on these explorative walks. Together, their work shows a shared interest in details and close looking. For both, the act of observing is situated, embodied, inextricable from thought, an ‘active event’, to borrow Laurie Kang’s words; a ‘combinational’ process of looking, collecting, recording and remembering, to draw on Santiago Taccetti’s thoughts. Their works emphasise how an intimate relationship with our surroundings can compel us to take note and to take care.  This is a profoundly important approach to the world, one which is based on the cultivation of wonder; an approach which seems especially important today when there is a pervasive mood of despondency and complacency, especially in the realm of politics.

Santiago Taccetti has also turned to his body in the environment. He has been looking down at his feet as they make their way through the snow, sometimes he is barefoot at other times in trainers; both, to those who have long lived through winters in Vilnius, evidence a newcomer to its snow and cold, someone who is fascinated by the way it changes, from slushy smatterings on concrete, to something more romantically powdery and thick. Taccetti notes how the Situationists International, who took seriously walking as a political act in their notion of the dérive (a sort of aimless wandering meant to contradict productive travelling) ‘let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain’: such ‘attractions’ can be found in the weird colouring of the fake roofing tiles, theatrical effects which appear to contradict the illusion they are supposed to support.  Like Kang, Taccetti has used plants which he had collected at the beginning of his residency and which were displayed on his desk.  In the showcase, they appear on chimney sweeps and roof tiles, suggesting those sites of dreams and fairy tales – the chimney breast, the attic – glimpsed by an inquiring hand and eye or caught by accident in an aimless walk.  The installation evokes the uncanny atmosphere of a children’s story or folktale, tales which have become powerful prisms through which the forests surrounding Vilnius have long been viewed.

Yates Norton