Intermedialumas ir bioįvairovė XX a. 9–10-ojo dešimtmečio Lietuvos dailėje, arba Dviejų kengūrų pasakojimas
Acta Academiae Artium Vilnensis
Keywords:Donna J. Haraway, Audrius Puipa, Šarūnas Sauka, intermediality, biodiversity, the animal turn
In the 1980s and 1990s, animals were a frequent subject in the works of Šarūnas Sauka, Audrius Puipa and other artists, who merged painting and graphic art with photography and images with words. These artists apparent- ly used intermedial expression as a tool to develop the subject of biodiversity. Photography came in useful for them also from the purely practical viewpoint, as animals do not pose. This multifaceted hybridization of art of the late 20th century is analysed through the prism of the contemporary theories of hybrid existence, collective thinking and mixed media. The aim of the article is to prove that hybrid expression and plots of a multi-species community widespread in the art of the 1980s and 1990s are not a random coincidence.
In the 1980s, art critics in Lithuania hardly had anything to say about the relations between human and non-human creatures, and most often over- looked animals represented in art. Today, a rich theoretical discourse on biodi- versity as a social and cultural category helps us to think on this subject with paintings. In the chapter “From Liberation to Compost”, the posthumanist ten- dencies in Lithuanian philosophy, the problematics of the animal turn, and the theories of Gaia (Latour) and Chtulucene (Haraway) are briefly presented.
In interpreting the artworks, above all, Sauka’s painting A Negative View from his early photorealistic period (1982), and Puipa’s lithograph The Shearing of the Sheep (1997), the author of the article looks for concrete relations between the discourse on biodiversity and artistic expression. In both works, kangaroos are depicted – at first sight, it seems quite odd and uncommon in the Lithuanian context, but at a closer look, the appearance of these charac- ters seems almost unavoidable.
In Sauka’s and Puipa’s art, the opposition between humans and oth- er animals, as well as between painting and photography, is disappearing in a similar way as is the opposition between nature and culture in Latour’s or Haraway’s texts, i.e. very diversely. Speaking about intermedial expression – above all, the interaction of traditional art forms and photography, – its multifaceted character and the large variety its forms comes to the fore. Sauka’s early work represents the general tendencies of photorealism that became distinct in Lithuanian painting circa 1980, the production and reception of photographic works as a theme of works, and appropriation, or repainting (though not reliably proven) of concrete photographic images. In Puipa’s work, the photographic char- acter manifests itself in the redrawing of motifs from press photographs, the production of preparatory photographs for drawings, and photoshoots of tab- leaux vivants. Animals appearing in the works of these artists also have many different missions – sometimes they are merely a piece of meat for a human dinner, and sometimes, by their powers of agency, they even surpass the human characters.