I think I’ve been there before
Dovilė Aleksandravičiūtė & Justina Vilčinskaitė, Antti Auvinen, Iván Argote, Aleksander Baszyński, Meryem Bayram, Aurélie Belair, Louisa Gagliardi, Veronika Ivashkevich, Anton Karyuk, Anni Laakso, Hadrien Loumaye, Karolina Majewska, Sebastian Milewski, Katrīna Neiburga, Izabela Olesińska, Iza Opiełka, Angyvir Padilla, Alicja Pakosz, Łukasz Stokłosa, Why Quit (Karolina Balcer & Iwona Ogrodzka)
I think I’ve been there before is a traveling exhibition project that grew out of observations and research into the certain phenomenon that occurs when being in transit. It takes as its framework the liminality and ‘non-places’ considered in three interweaving paths:
I. Correlations of architecture as a transit of space and time.
Thinking about a certain state of anxiety and discomfort that architecture itself can evoke, one can recall public crowded places such as waiting rooms, buses, and airports. Or, on the contrary; vacant lots transformed by time or the development deeds of large cities; hotel corridors straight out of “The Shining” movie – which seems to lead to no particular destination. Following Juhani Pallasmaa, the key role of architecture is a shelter that is a projection of our measurements and needs, it is supposed to enhance our sense of reality and subjectivity. From the sociological perspective, the issue of space in people’s lives remains on the sidelines concerning other studied currents, and there are still some blind spots in public spaces in the form of liminal places that disrupt this order. The first layer of the exhibition deals with situations, feelings, and changes that begin in the architecture and the immediate surroundings, which are shared together, and often seem to be the background for internal experiences.
II. Territories, domesticity, lost bodies.
The second layer of the exhibition is exploring the levels of social and political in-betweens in the oppressive, transforming world in which we are anxiously trying to find ourselves. It addresses topics such as displacement caused by war or economics, diasporic populations, and the state of being unsheltered. It questions the idea of home and the territories, the dreamlike areas of doubt. With the rise in industrialisation and the emergence of leisure as an acceptable form of play separate from work, liminoid experiences are becoming more and more common. Often not of our own volition, we live in a time of constant change, where it is difficult to define our place of habitation. Despite this, we somehow strive for comfortable housing that would meet all our needs and be a solace, and stability. At the same time, the world around us is becoming noisier, more dynamic, and cramped, where the boundaries between work, home, and spiritual space are blurring more than ever before.
III. Internal corridors, emotions, disappearance.
The exhibition ends with abstract emotional suspensions on a more personal level, which causes the feeling of being on the threshold. Liminality appears there as undefined limbo, between our relationships with nature, technology, and spirituality. The notion of liminality has even become the subject of art memes, which, functioning in the metaverse, perhaps show that we can’t quite cope with certain states or haven’t had time to work through them yet. This perspective completes the juxtaposition of the stories about the lack of structured processes for dealing with states such as alienation, illness, and grief, which are about change, disappearance, and transition. At a time when there is an increasing focus on mental health and the topic is not being downplayed, the interweaving of internal themes with what physically surrounds us is becoming something increasingly oﬁcial in social discourses, including art.
Through its open and transformative format, the exhibition creates a platform to reflect on places that seem to belong to no one, and a theme close to current globalization and the idea of nomadicity. The project juxtaposes various artistic practices that observe different mental states and anxieties related to the uncertainty caused by liminoid experiences. Twenty-two international artists address these themes in a variety of media, creating a space to reflect on these phenomena, as well as on the meaning of places that we usually pass by involuntarily – because we have to, they are not a destination, but an integral part of space-time.
Organised by: Krupa Art Foundation and Klaipėda Culture Communication Center (KCCC)
Supported by: European Union and Goethe Institut, Flemish Government, Krupa Gallery
This work was produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Union.