{gallery}painting/nostalgia,limit = 0{/gallery}

Due to the law that was authorized by the Lithuanian Parlament on the 17th of June, 2008, by which any usage of the former soviet attributes was banned from the public domain, the original works were censored particularly for this show and were not allowed to be exhibited.

Present series reconstruct the original ones by the exact size and medium and link to the online documentation of the piece “Painting as Labour and Taxonomy”, which was done under the research on the condition of non-nostalgia of a post-soviet heritage and re-evaluation of (mis)memory through the tactics of remembrance alternative to the official, public one:

If restorative nostalgia ends up reconstructing emblems and rituals of home and homeland in attempt to conquer and spatialize time, reflective nostalgia cherishes shattered fragments of memory and temporalizes space.1

Practicing reflective nostalgia through unconventional ways of dealing with the past and addressing disciplinary medium as a selective, informative and descriptive system of classification rather than a poetic, connotative and synthesised visual object, emphasis was given on the process of labour and a nondeferential analysis of a social structure through a visual, non-predetermined view, stripping the subject matter - objectified symbols - from their historical weight.

As Boyim expands, official memory is constructed through a perpetually-positive selection of the self-image (monumental signification of national glory). This restorative nostalgia for the “golden age” works hand in hand with the sovereign and the so-called imagined communities that still hold the pressure of delineating borders and concepts of enemies which must be eliminated in order for “us” to survive. This social construct is by its essence linked to the possibility of the state of siege, pressed by the outbursts of the cracking neo-liberalism.

Herewith, more radically-critical inquiries and speculations sink inside a power of the over-signified necessity to maintain a solid national “dentity”, a chain of re-enacted, restored memories, simplified to local spectacles and myths – the hangover of the state, which confuses memory with propaganda. The proposal is to question whether this cognitive symbology is necessary for a social construct (avoiding the term of a nation state) to function, as the former is nothing but an illusionary imperative that is mediated by a spaceless virtual image and legitimized by geo-relations. Paradoxically, a consideration on nostalgia for direct censorship could be premised within the realm of visual manipulation and image policy of the „known and unknown unknowns“.

Collective memory should be called into subjective inquiry rather than conformed by a media-political apparatus, avoiding right-wing fundamentalist ideologization through the clichés of national identity that pre-determines an inconsistent historical recognition. At the times of a certain geo-political mis-ease, the situation reflects upon itself through addressing unavoidable questions on the the naivity of national pride and the futility of it‘s ultimate expression – the sacrifice of human life – under the non-transparent conditions of neo-liberalism, non-governmental constructs of relations and stateless military structures. In this perspective, a reflection upon the hierarchy of a socialist infrastructure becomes relevant, as it prompts the idea of de-personalization which, at its very least, attempts to view the organisms of a society within a condition of the stationary state.


1 Svetlana Boyim, “Future of Nostalgia”, 2001.