Vladas Urbanavičius. Standartiniai rezervuarai, CAC
In on day one can visit a great deal in Vilnius. Just scrolling the streets of downtown is like visiting a museum, cute little streets, cobblestone, red tiles, – everything as commeil faut in an European North city. The entrance to museums in Lithuania is free on Wednsdays. I’ ve visited CAC (Contemorary Art Center, or SMC in Lituanian). It was rather empty, I find it ueber minimalistic for a arts center. In one hall an exhibition that includes a depiction of five addicted prostitutes juxtoposed to the mushrooms (as forbidden fruit) under the title SWIM. A framed fly on the wall, some trunks, Fluxus cabinet. That’s all. Everything is fne with the current exhbitions. You get the message, just is not too much Nirvana? Too much of nothingeness in CAC. About SWIM and the rest you can read on CAC page, I am not going to critisieze that.
Then we went to Varnas theater play “Backhantės“, Euripides. I can’t better describe than A. Paukstyte* on the situation of Lithuanian theater. She says, how many more times one can interpret Shakespear, Chechov and antique plays. It was exactly what has crossed my mind while watching this show. Theater for theater goers only, not for a broader public. Although what is a broader public? It is you and me. It was a theater play when you get out and you have forgotten it completly. A little bit of tradtional (in Lithuania) self searching, as my friend described before getting in, – I hope that it is not going to be as usual, half an hour pause, actor stands on the stage, in silence and breathing, staring at one point. Well, somethings have changed, – in these pauses, the actors are silent but there is an action, – they collect waste. I think about five times Bacchants were collecting waste and placing it into black plastic bags. There was as well some moments with a lot of rustling plastic on stage. I rather dislike that sound, – perhaps it was exactly the thought of the director to annoy with that sound. Plastic bags and waste, as well as video projection of the waste, sign of “Akropolis” (the shopping center in Vilnius) being destroyed, – all that represent decadance of civilisaiton that is in play of Euripides, all okay. All that has been smeared with some insert of dancing and opera singing. In todays’s theater to experiment with a form of an antic play is a bit of a bore to me.
And then I have read an interview of some so-called theater professional in free press that compares going to sport in order to train your body with a visit of a theater or another cultural event in order to train your “cultural body”. It is an opinion of somebody living in a capital, probably an offspring of a respected artist that gets entrance to any cultural event, not to tell organising those events. For an average Lithuanian away from any city,with an income 800+++ Litas visit to a show once a month is probably a science fiction. The good thing is that that day theater was almost full on Wednesday with a price of 40 LT for this show. I am glad that theater is still loved in Lithuania. As I am happy about that in fever of destroying anything that looks as a “concrete Soviet prison”, CAC still exists.
* Interview about festival “Tylos”, from “Laisvalaikis”, 24-04-2014