The XXII Triennale Milano, curated by Paola Antonelli, explores a hot topic in current times: the survival of human beings in a nature that is shifting its very same meaning. Broken Nature: Design Takes on Human Survival is the title of the event and explores the broken relationship between man and nature at all levels – from the microbiome to the cosmos – encompassing social, cultural and natural ecosystems.
Within this frame, we focus our attention on the Lithuanian Pavilion and its video installation Manifold by Emilija Škarnulytė, organised by the Contemporary Art Center in Vilnius – an installation reflecting on the broken relationship between man and nature, with particular attention to the landscape left by the Cold War.
Again, the artist’s gaze reaches places where political tension is particularly explicit. “More specifically – claims the artist – my attention to environmental issues shifted during my studies in Tromso. When I had been trying to adopt physically to this alien environment, soon with the fascination came the feeling of existential weight brought by rapid changes that are happening there and human made and natural forces behind them. “The North” has become sort of a metaphor, or a mental image for the stage where drama between our ideas of technological advancement and progressive survival strategies clashes with our irrational fears, dreams and hopes. From here comes my wish to create counter-mythologies – alternatives to the dominant prophecies and prognosis of our planet’s destiny, by mixing high-tech and archaic imagery, like in Sirenomelia or Mirror Matter.”
Emilija Skarnulytė studied sculpture at the Brera Fine Arts Academy in Milan and then continued her studies in contemporary art at the Tromsø Academy of Contemporary Art in Norway. The artist’s works were presented at the Venice Biennale of Architecture 2016, at the SIART Biennial of 2016 in Bolivia, the Biennale of São Paulo and Riga in 2018, the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the Pompidou Centre in Paris and the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen 2017. Emilija Škarnulytė won the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR) National Prize for the Arts in 2009, the Anne and Jakob Weidemann Prize in 2015, the Young Artist Award in 2016 and the Project Award at Kino der Kunst in Monaco in 2017. In 2019 Škarnulytė won the Future Generation Art Prize.
Emilija Skarnulytė. Lithuan Pavillon is depicted within the XXII Triennial Milan, curated by Paola Antonelli, 01.03 – 01.09.2019
images: (cover 1) Emilija Skarnulytè, «Future Fossil», video still, loop 3D (2- 3) Emilija Skarnulytè, «Manifold», istallation view, Triennale di MIlano 2019 photo credit Andrej Vasilenko