Art Project „Unemployed Time“and Disabled Activity of the Cultural Institutions Print
Written by Vladas Balsys & Darius Vaičekauskas   
Tuesday, 09 December 2008 17:09


1st part 


First time the Project was mentioned in „Magazine“ (Nr.2) the quarterly review of the Klaipėda Exhibition Palace. There were 17 artists joined the campaign according to the official data provided by the Organization of Lithuanian Non-creators (www.lno.lt). The main aim of the project was nothing to create. The artists were able to make a choice (on-line) how long not to create: a) an hour; b) a month; c) one week; d) one month; e) one year f) the rest of the life. The participants sent their names and chosen period of nonproductive creative time (a, b, c, d, e, f).



The next step of “Unemployed Time” was the show. Organization of Lithuanian Non-creators made decision to arrange view shows simply by locking the doors of the galleries, exhibition palaces and art institutions for one year without access to the audience. It was done through the e-mails. The President of Organization of Lithuanian Non-creators himself sent 72 e-mails to the art institutions asking them to host the project. None of the institutions answered. Next step for the realization of the project was the Press. Invitation to take part in the art project “Unemployed Time” by closing exhibition halls and art galleries was published in the weekly cultural supplement of the daily “Lietuvos Rytas” (Nr. 138) on June 19th, 2007. Nobody responded. No more means for dissemination of the project were adopted and was made decision to cease the project. Few months passed and the curator of the Klaipėda Exhibition Palace occasionally remembered the project “Unemployed Time” and suggested to arrange the show in Klaipėda. In December, 2007 there was filled up the application for the Klaipeda Exhibition Palace program of art projects and by January 2008 there was given a partial approval for it’s realization. The administration of the Art Palace disagreed on closing the main exhibition spaces for the period of one year and gave permission to use the hall. The provisional president of Organization of Lithuanian Non-creators in rush order made a decision to open the show of the project without showing anything. He but also agreed on leaving the doors of the hall unlocked. The only thing showed was the blank list of paper – the poster of the show. The poster meant the official existence of the project of “Unemployed time”, though apparent absence  of any reflection on it neither in the press, nor in the exhibition hall, nor in other means of information. 

2nd part 

The topic is based on the impact of Contemporary Art (in more general meaning of the word) with the cultural institutions. Since 2003 there was launched the total strategic planning in all over Lithuanian municipalities and institutions under their dependence. The institutions were obliged clearly to determine their aims and tasks and specifics of their activities. Such institutions as Klaipėda Exhibition Palace (Klaipėda’s case is unique because they hold still the same name inherited from soviet times for the state art galleries – differently from Vilnius or Šiauliai case) – they got into problematic situation. The main attitude declared by the municipal cultural department is to satisfy possible multitude of artistic-cultural demands coming from the city community. So it reasoned the appearance of the new officially approved priority as presentation of contemporary art along with presentation of traditional art and young art creators. Such a formations of municipal cultural policies, based dichotomy of traditional vs contemporary art tendencies instead of clearly declared strategy of the cultural development, - they are getting even dangerous to the development of the contemporary art processes in the local milieu.

 The fact of the appearance of the project by Vladas Balsys to arrange the show “Unemployed Time” in 2007 made evident absolute disability of the municipal cultural institution to realize the project. Though the promotion of the contemporary art is one of the priority trends for the Klaipėda Exhibition Palace activities, the bureaucratic mechanisms get the top what eventually leads to peripheric treatment of actual contemporary problems, content is applied to the restrictions of the basic law and finally – the superficiality of the whole cultural policy. So we should agree on the statement that the realization of the contemporary art processes on institutional level (such cultural institutions like Klaipėda Art Exhibition palace in that case) is usually based on irresponsible and superficial strategies for their activities and lead nowhere.   

VLADAS BALSYS: The Provisional President of the Organization of Lithuanian Non-creators (LNO)DARIUS VAIČEKAUSKAS: curator at Klaipėda Exhibitin Palace; the chairman of Art Creators Union.