Magazine article Artforum International

Arturas Raila: CAC Vilnius

Magazine article Artforum International

Arturas Raila: CAC Vilnius

Article excerpt

"Roll Over Museum" was a series of exhibitions by Lithuanian artist Arturas Raila in the three Baltic capitals of Vilnius, Tallinn, and Riga, organized after he was awarded the Hansabank art award, the largest of its kind in the region. While the other two exhibitions featured most of his video works to date, the presentation at CAC Vilnius offered a live interaction between segments of society that seem to be completely detached from one another. Raila has often directed his gaze at subcultures far from the contemporary-art establishment. In 1998 the artist invited members of the tiniest, least influential--but most controversial--extreme-right-wing party in Lithuania to explain their position. He wanted to give them exposure in a context that would completely change the meaning of their message by introducing something of the tantalizing self-reflection that is usually part of the framework for "cultural presentation." The CAC, however, canceled the project. The year before, he had invited a gang of Vilnius bikers to drive right through the CAC premises, opening up one of the glass doors onto the street and thereby stretching both the physical and conceptual framework of the institution.

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There is something quite subversive in Raila's urge to expand museum structures and introduce previously unframed interest groups into an institution like the CAC Vilnius, but this time, with "Roll Over Museum/Live," he chose a seemingly less disturbing group, the community of racing-car enthusiasts. Raila exhibited four customized cars together with photographs of them and their builder-owners in their workshops. …

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