TRAVERSING DISCRETE LOCI
June 26 – August 22, 2020
Opening June 26, 1 – 7 PM
November. Field research.
I can recall the stillness and the fatigue of the furniture in The Clothes Archive. In this place where the archivist lives eternally in the year 1982. When I visited him, he made me a cup of coffee to match the record that was playing - it was late and I felt uneasy in this slow time-travelling. I noticed an extensive nine-part map puzzled on the floor and a pair of books on Soviet monuments. As the record continued to play, I desired to understand the logic of the serial numbers on the Melodiya vinyls. Mnemosyne, the goddess of memory, so omnipresent in these rooms without a semblance of anything modern; she’s hanging from the ceiling, within the smell of the uniforms and dresses. From Youtube stills to personal documents, stencils of decorations from manor houses, and the twenty stopped clocks; it’s all history and dust. It needs airing.
And how does one live within history? Inhabiting it in your very own house? This man’s identity is this history, he even changed his name to make it his reality. The past is his present.
There was a 1979 calendar on the wall - the days matched those of 2018 exactly. A skeumorphic mimesis of the past coming through, in a stillness that will become a future archive. Just as the calendar icon on my computer has a “vintage look” and the folders on my desktop are a mere representation of folders, they forcefully remind me of this place where there is no nostalgia - only the present moment that has been twisted and realigned with previous years.
Upon leaving, the engine of the car broke down. The archivist came to the rescue with a portable engine.
- Gabrielė Adomaitytė, June 2020
Annet Gelink Gallery is pleased to present Gabrielė Adomaitytė’s first solo show in The Bakery. Traversing Discrete Loci refers to the method of loci, an ancient Greek memory enhancement technique that uses imaginary locations for storing information through mental image-making (loci being Latin for “places"). Gabrielė Adomaitytė has been working with the story of an archivist in Lithuania, who has turned his house into a museum called The Clothes Archive. The museum is essentially a shrine to the Soviet era. Adomaitytė projects this retro-utopian world into the series of paintings presented in The Bakery. The multiplicity of layers alludes to the lack of a singular narrative; instead, the narratives come together in a memory palace suspended in time through collage and drawing.
Adomaitytė acknowledges her hometown and its past from a curious yet critical perspective. Tangible cultural heritage is rapidly disappearing from one generation to another, with many contemplating what future museums will look like or contain - particularly in regard to collections that must be reexamined through a decolonial lens. Adomaitytė posits that individual rather than institutionalized memory is the real treasure - here the truest sense of identity and temporality of persevering, which ultimately shape our collective understanding of the past.
Through investigating mnemonic devices, Adomaitytė’s paintings draw on alternative systems for archiving information. By transposing information into the slower, analog realm of painting, these collections of imagery function as mental aids or enhancers of cultural memory. Lifted from a natural history encyclopedia, the data manifests as multi-dimensional figures of painterly actions, colours and shapes that create a rhizome like system of meaning.
Gabrielė Adomaitytė (1994, Lithuania) was an artist in residence at De Ateliers, Amsterdam (NL) from 2017 to 2019 and graduated from Vilnius Academy of Art (LT) in 2017. Adomaitytė’s work was recently shown in solo and group exhibitions at De Ateliers, Amsterdam (2019), Vartai Gallery, Vilnius (LT) (2019) and Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius (2018).