The “8th International Artist's Book Triennial Vilnius 2018” is a continuous international educational project. The exhibitions held as part of this project are among the most important “Artist's Books” exhibitions both in Europe and globally. The triennial is relevant for both its participants and visitors for several reasons: primarily due to the particularly high level of quality of exhibits and also due to the increasing popularity of the “artist's book” as an interdisciplinary art which can be pursued by all kinds of artists, students and even children.
The “artist's book” is an embodiment of an idea on a conceptual and a craft level. The “Artist's Book Triennial” serves as a bank of ideas for graphic designers, book binders, typographers, conceptual and installation artists, as well as lecturers and students. It is a unique non-commercial project which employs strict criteria for selecting works of art and which receives a lot of attention from artists, museums, galleries and universities. During the 21 year of the triennial history, the artist's books have been displayed not only in Vilnius but also in Leipzig, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Rhine region (Germany), Lille (France), Silkeborg (Denmark), Venice, Vercelli (Italy), Seoul (South Korea), Halmstad (Sweden), and Salzburg (Austria). A total of 838 artists from 65 countries have been selected to participate in the triennial exhibitions.
Earlier this year the “8th International Artist's Book Triennial Vilnius 2018” has already been held in the Leipzig Book Fair and in the book art festival “Urbino e le Città del Libro” in Urbino, Italy. Following the exhibition at the National Library in Vilnius, in 2019, the “8th Artist's Book Triennial” will be held at the SG Gallery in Venice and the Museo Leone in Vercelli, Italy, and at Evanston Art Centre, Fredonia State University in the U.S.
The international grand jury panel awarded the Main Prize to the artist Magdalena Cordero Echeverria from Chile.
The artist's books will be displayed at the National Library alongside the library's old manuscripts associated with the topic “Memento Mori”. It is a unique project since the old manuscript books and the modern artist's books are for the first time presented at the same exhibition space.
International artist's books triennials have been periodically held since 1997. A variety of thought-provoking topics of these triennials encourage artists to transcend their individual experiences and moods and to reflect on the topic in conceptual terms rejecting the concept of the “beautiful” book (and even the search for it) as arrogant and commercial. A book as the artist's innermost fantasy, as an unwritten poem or a film never created, a book-object stands in sharp contrast to the functional, illustrated, well-bound book printed on fine paper. We will not find any informative texts or pictures in the artist's books. They themselves are a reflection of the artist and the surrounding world. They speak to us in strangest forms and means of expression, across time and in a closed yet open space.
This year the exhibition revolves around the topic “Memento Mori”. Rather than delving into reflections about the approaching death which is unavoidable in the material dimension, this topic was expected to encourage artists to reflect on life. On a human being who is immortal and to whom the earthly “sleep” serves as a door to eternity, to the eternal life in Joy. To whom even a torturous death or cruel loss of life or the most horrible terror attack may become a path of martyrdom and holiness leading to heaven. However, there are plenty of those who are already willingly “dead” although they are still walking among the living. So what is it that they are still afraid of? Why are they screaming and crying, running and complaining about the death surrounding them if they themselves are the children of death? What are they running from? Are they running from the nothingness because for them, only this temporary life counts as being? But what is so terrible about nothingness if it there is no Eternity and the blissfulness or suffering in it (beyond it?). After all, everyone will “get what they believed in”. Is running from death meaningful even if this fleeting pursuit can be achieved for a short moment by extending your existence a day or two, knowing that you are still moving towards nothingness from the day you are born? So let us not be the dead headed to a dark grave. Let us be the children of light who are waiting for the eternal Joy.
Project organizer: Bokartas
Curator: Kęstutis Vasiliūnas
Brief information about the exhibition:
|Date||19 July – 23 September, Opening of the exhibition: 19 July at 6:00 p.m.|
|Venue||Main Gallery, 3rd floor|
|Entrance||free of charge|