The 13th Kaunas Biennial: Once Upon Another Time…gyveno jie jau kitaip

One of the largest international contemporary art festivals in the Baltic region, the 13th Kaunas Biennial will take place from 12 November 2021 to 20 February 2022. The exhibition, titled “Once Upon Another Time... gyveno jie jau kitaip” offers reflections on current global situations, including the pandemic, with a curatorial project that explores human resilience and adaptation. Curated by Josée Drouin-Brisebois, the biennial investigates different forms of storytelling and narrative in contemporary art. At times these stories are grounded in myths and fictions associated with the passage of time, transformation and evolution. In other moments they explore experienced personal and communal tales of survival. The exhibition proposes a sharing of stories rooted in diverse worldviews and moments in time, from the past, present and even the future.

The biennial will bring together 23 international artists and groups from Lithuania, Poland, Germany, France, United Kingdom, USA, Canada and Brazil. Ten new artworks are being commissioned for the 13th Kaunas Biennial, an event which will be one of the most significant contemporary art events opening Kaunas European Capital of Culture 2022.

Drouin-Brisebois stated: “Through a series of engaging encounters with contemporary art in unusual places, visitors will embark on an exploratory journey of the architectural and lived history of Kaunas, which will be animated in renewed and surprising ways. Through their artworks that convey compelling and resonant narratives, the artists consider the resilience and adaptation of living beings, as many continue to face adversity, injustice, oppression and climate change. The aim is to encourage audiences to connect through the familiarity of storytelling, to foster empathy and hopefully new understanding”.

The exhibition is organised by Kaunas Biennial. The project is supported by the Lithuanian Council for Culture, Kaunas City Municipality and with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts. The event is presented in collaboration with the Office of the Embassy of Canada to Lithuania and is a part of the project Kaunas European Capital of Culture 2022.


Picture by M. Stasiulionytė

Galway 2020 - Handover Ceremony to air on TG4

Galway 2020’s title as European Capital of Culture draws to a close on April 30th. It will pass the title to the three cities who will next hold the title with a televised version of the handover airing on TG4 and on Friday 7th of May at 7.30pm. The symbolic handover will see the title pass from Galway and Rijeka in Croatia, to Esch in Luxembourg, Kaunas in Lithuania and Novi Sad in Serbia.

“In the delivery of the cultural programme that won Galway the title of Ireland’s 2020 European Capital of Culture, Galway 2020 has realised its vision to create new partnerships and new ways of working. That it did so in the midst of the sudden onset of a global pandemic is testament to the creativity and commitment of the Galway 2020 team and the cultural partners working side by side to deliver for audiences. We have experienced the joy of wonderful live performances, exhibitions and online events across the entire spectrum of cultural activity. I thank all involved for their dedication and work. As we hand over to the 2022 European Capitals of Culture, I wish Novi Sad, Esch and Kaunas a truly successful and memorable year.” Catherine Martin, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media

Following a particularly challenging year, Galway 2020 continued to deliver its Capital of Culture programme throughout 2020, ending on 30 April 2021. This 12 minute programme celebrates just some of the theatre, music, dance, circus and visual arts highlights which happened online and offline. Featuring the work of 600 artists and organisations who participated in the programme since 2020 began.

“Having the opportunity to help to bring these projects and performances to life despite the pandemic and the set-backs that presented was an honour for Galway 2020. It truly reflected the breadth of creativity and resilience in our creative community. We’re delighted to present some of these events in this TG4 film, and would like to thank all of those who helped to make it happen – our cultural partners, creatives, Mayor, Cathaoirleach and of course, TG4,” said Patricia Philbin, CEO, Galway 2020.

TG4’s Director General Alan Esslemont said “TG4 believed in the Galway 2020 programme from the outset. We were proud to be onboard as a partner to showcase the culture of Galway and the west coast of Ireland to a European and international audience. Despite setbacks and a global pandemic that resulted in a scaled back programme of events, I would like to congratulate Galway 2020 in what has been achieved in these extraordinary times. Highlights for me personally include John Gerard’s Mirror Pavilion on the Claddagh Quay in Galway, the bog portraits in Ros Muc and the beautiful suite of music 'The Mighty Ocean', composed by Máirtin O’Connor which through our partnership with Galway 2020 aired recently on TG4.”

The stunning scenery of the west coast of Ireland and the Wild Atlantic Way features alongside the medieval streets of Galway city. Expect a breath-taking illumination of the Connemara landscape, colourful performers, fire tours, acrobatics, high wire walking and clips of powerful events specially commissioned by Galway 2020”

It will include a short 30 second address by EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel and Catherine Martin, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media. There will be a symbolic acceptance of the title by the 3 new host cities and a specially-commissioned music composition by composer Anna Mullarkey will run alongside the visuals throughout.

Watch the video of the handover ceremony by clicking here 


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