Once in the XX Century

@ Gymnasium Gallery

Once in the XX Century is an exploration of the work of acclaimed Lithuanian filmmaker Deimantas Narkevicius. Narkevicius questions and reinterprets historical and political memory in the aftermath of the breakup of the Soviet Union. Referencing the tangible fear of the unknown and a former Cold War world of propaganda, his work also acutely explores how symbols and meaning can shift through the passing of time, reenactment, and reappropriation, creating powerful alternative narratives.

Narkevicius’ films will also be presented in a profile screening on Sunday 27 September at 13.00. Read more and buy tickets here.

Narkevicius's film Dud Effect (2008) will accompany a screening of The War Game on Saturday 26 Sept at 17.00. Read more and buy tickets here.

Once in the XX Century is a gallery-based exploration of the oeuvre of Lithuanian filmmaker Deimantas Narkevicius. The works included in the exhibition are:

Revisiting Solaris
2007 | 18 | Digital Projection

Based on the unfilmed last chapter of Stansilaw Lem’s book Solaris, more than forty years after Andrei Tarkovsky’s film of the same name, the actor Donatas Banionis reprises his role as Chris Kelvin. To materialise the landscape of Solaris, Narkevicius used a series of photographs from 1905 made by the Lithuanian symbolist painter and composer Mykalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis, repurposing the same Black (Crimean) Sea that Tarkovsky himself had photographed to represent the mysterious ocean.

Energy Lithuania
2000 | 17 | Super 8 film

A documentary study of an electric power plant that includes conversations with people who have worked there, almost becoming a museum of industrial thoughts.

Disappearance of a Tribe
2005 | 10 | Scanned photographs

A cinematic assembly of private photographs which portray the life story of a family, depicting a common life in the Socialist era, which seems to have been totally lost.

The Head
2007 | 13 | 35mm found footage

Edited from existing DDR TV footage and photo material from the ‘60s and ‘70s that features the creation of the largest head (portrait) monument in the world modeled by sculptor Lev Yefimovitch Kerbel and erected in Karl-Marx-Stadt (now Chemnitz) in 1971.

Once in the XX Century
2004 | 8 | Betacam SP video

A two-camera perspective on the destruction of the statue of Lenin in Vilnius. These are images that became familiar due to their widespread use by broadcast news services such as CNN. Narkevicius’ edit, however, looks as if the crowd were preparing, and then celebrating, the erection of the statue of Lenin.

Ausgetraumt (Dream Over)
2010 | 6 | 35mm
Not one Lithuanian pop musician has reached international acclaim. Addressing his fascination with naivety, Narkevicius documents a small group of young Lithuanian boys who have just started a band, interspersing shots of their wintertime surroundings in Vilnius.

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Artist Deimantas Narkevicius