After studying sculpture at the Vilnius Academy of Arts, a renowned creator of kinetic objects Kęstutis Svirnelis received his master’s degree in Stuttgart, Germany, where he has been living for twenty years. The artist, who creates kinetic, moving interactive objects and installations, analyses the themes of capitalism, consumerism, liberalism, democracy, man and his role in the system.

The exhibition Boundaries and Margins is the fifteenth solo exhibition of K. Svirnelis. The artist has exhibited his work not only in Germany and Lithuania, but also in England, Austria, Turkey, South Korea, Poland, and the USA. The gallery Meno Niša has also successfully presented the works of K. Svirnelis at the art fairs ArtVilnius, Positions Berlin, and Vienna Contemporary. In 2018, K. Svirnelis was awarded as the Audience Select Artist at ArtVilnius.

“We have a long-standing friendship with K. Svirnelis. Symbolically, it was this artist’s exhibition Furs (Šerstis), created especially for the gallery space, that marked the 15th anniversary of Meno Niša. This year, we are celebrating the gallery’s 20th anniversary, which also includes an exhibition by K. Svirnelis,” said Diana Stomienė, the head of Meno Niša, adding that the last week has been challenging and sensitive for the whole world. “We believe that in these tough times when we all feel so powerless, art can help to unite and ease the mind."

Kęstutis Svirnelis
Foto: Asm. albumo nuotr.

The materials used by K. Svirnelis (dollars, second-hand clothes, sewage pipes, rubber gloves, cellophane, wheelchairs, mannequins) are a political and at the same time very personal statement. Most of Svirnelis’ objects move, shake, expand, or even make sounds; these movements are very often unexpected for the viewer, they throw the viewer off-balance, make them laugh, and then wonder what they have seen.

The exhibition Boundaries and Margins is an attempt by K. Svirnelis to convey to the viewer the feeling of boundary margins in visual language – through his objects. What is that? The artist is interested in the concept of boundaries and their margins in the broad sense. In the works of the exhibition, he raises questions about what the boundary is in different dimensions, why it appears, shifts, or disappears, what processes affect it. We set boundaries everywhere, and boundaries have margins.

When is it too much, when is it too little? Pushing the boundaries also pushes the margins.

Kęstutis Svirnelis
Foto: Asm. albumo nuotr.

“I make everything absolute, and yet, at the same time, I go into details – as an artist, I am allowed to compare anything to anything else. I see a microworld in a macroworld, which are basically the same. I can create a work that looks like an animal, or maybe a virus. Or maybe it looks like a cosmic explosion? A multi-layered associative expression, where you don’t know what it might be, I hope, leaves a mixed impression on the viewer as well,” – K. Svirnelis talks about the concept of the exhibition, adding that his objects try to express the question of boundaries and margins in such a way that one doesn’t know how to look at it, the works remain a mystery.

“I leave it to the viewer to decide. They will decide for themselves, according to their own being, according to their religion, education, experiences, etc. What is it and how should it be seen? The more associations, the greater the margin / the more thoughts, and the more information about who we are.” – said the artist.

K. Svirnelis’ exhibition Boundaries and Margins will be open at the gallery Meno Niša from 3 March to 1 April. The gallery is sponsored by Vilnius City Municipality.