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'COLUMNISTS', a Group Show at Editorial, Vilnius

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(No performances, except Yours, planned, dear swap-right material, free-content typists, data miners, fellow bit-makers, clicking e-peasantry of the global village, … OK, enough).

The title hinges upon your entries and exits, after all.

It may be "Swipe right material", "Dear Cindy Sherman", "Streaming Likes, Micro-Trending AutoCorrections, Elf Trolls News Faces Slaps & other Gimmicks, Shared, Irreversibly" or just a simple "Meme Magic, Like Farms, & other trends in the age of Artificial Stupidity".

Some are obviously fake but "Multi Horizon Room" might be a real one – the show’s architecture is based on Social Media War Room: it’s all about targeting demographics, monitoring, tactics and further enhancing.

You already noticed some repetitive keywords – yes, the exhibition is trying to explore what happens to an exhibition space in the age of social media and vice versa – what happens to artistic practices and social media since they became just another exhibition space.

Columnists presents works and practices, not necessarily artistic, that are immersive, penned, scrolled, screen-touched, shared, shared online. For example, "Ongoing Project.Video News" functions as a video conversation between various people, captured by smartphones in different events, streets and cities.

Mohammad Salemy and Martha Rosler are sharing their Facebook streams – the curator blatantly insists that one finds more inspiration on social media than local museums nowadays. One may be reminded that online practices (not just artistic ones) are still experiencing difficulties in paving their entries into art institutions but the main stimulus to present social networking is connected to the presentation of artists’ daily sociopolitical comments and daily critical stance that often remain excluded from the rather slow and reactionary contemporary art world.

Contradicting the idea that all works in the show should be shared online, Jaakko Pallasvuo presents 9 posters, shares "Airplane Mode" zine and a video "Medusa" which was partially filmed in Vilnius.

There is more room left for a room in a room situation – "After Solitary", a collaboration between Emblematic Group and PBS’ investigative series FRONTLINE. The work uses photogrammetry and volumetric video capture to tell the story of 39-year-old Kenny Moore, a recently released inmate who spent years in solitary confinement.

And finally, about the host itself. "Editorial" is already a two headed mutant – it’s an exhibition space and an office for two internet based contemporary art magazines in a room. Similarly, the exhibition enhances this logic of what an exhibition space might have become today – a multifunctional hybrid meeting point for conversations, advertising, communication, editing, partying, production, research, sharing, documentation and, neither the last nor the least, a site for a media spectacle.

You have to remind yourself this is an exhibition. Someone is talking to a prisoner in a solitary. Someone is fighting the attention economy by clicking and scrolling. Someone in an airplane mode is analyzing how the start-up economy is reshaping the art education sector. Is the Jellyfish Workers’ Art School an answer? An answer to what? An answer came for one drink only. Someone came here to mimicry and camouflage or to find a lover or for the two out of the three. "Art is the relations they’ve created between each other." The lover answered but did not show up.

It all may become Video news. 

11.10.19 — 31.10.19

Emblematic Group & FRONTLINE, Ongoing Project

Video News*, Jaakko Pallasvuo, Martha Rosler, Mohammad Salemy

*Current participants include Lukas Brašiškis, Deniz Inceoglu, Milda Januševičiūtė, Akvilė Kabašinskaitė, Ignė Narbutaitė, Noriko Satoi, Ieva Kotryna Skirmantaitė

Curated by Valentinas Klimašauskas

Photo by Ugnius Gelguda

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