Enchanted by Architecture
“Cinema is a form of love that allows one to look at the city through a certain aesthetic filter that not only alters, complements, but also opens up invisible layers of reality. When the city is seen in this way, it is no longer possible to perceive it only in a shallow way, locked up in its forms and flat surfaces. The city becomes more than an architectural entity : its constructions, history, its present and future, begin to breathe, dance and sing. The assemblage of the city’s architecture in itself becomes an intriguing character with a story and legend to tell. Before our eyes, the city begins to unroll and unfold. Folds of the city is the meaning under the title of the film KLOSTĖS – FOLDS.
City of Kaunas deserves such a love filter, and even more – it deserves a major role in the film. At last, the uniquely optimistic modernist architecture of Kaunas, awaiting UNESCO evaluation, deserved not only the attention of historical and scientific researchers, but also the careful touch of art creators. Irish artist Aideen Barry proposed the KEKS2022 program to put the buildings into the spotlight through moving pictures, and that’s how she created the architectural film FOLDS. For several years, a huge city team collected ideas, created visual elements (image, sound, movement) and had woven the fabric that made up an hour-long collage of the city’s visible and invisible layers, of what is forgotten and what is recalled or imagined. Over 60 professionals, amateur and volunteer actors, as well as filmmakers and prop makers, worked on the film, shooting in 16 locations, and more than 70 people created the stop-motion animations. Thus, the project of making the film acquired not so much an artistic, as the socio-cultural meaning of the community’s involvement in culture : it was an opportunity for Kaunas residents to come together and be in the story of a city.
Such a collective result should be of interest not only to Kaunas residents, but also to city guests. The individual images of the film Klostės are interconnected and folded up like a paper of thin atmospheres and moods, it’s an origami made with careful attention. The observation of the smallest details alternates with a panorama of brutalist stylistic objects. You the Spectator, together with the film characters, enter the interiors of the buildings, through gaps and secret pass-ways or portals, like typical rounded windows of Kaunas, elegant staircase doors, the camera twists and turns to reveal detailed ceilings, gifting you the experience as if you are lying on the carpet with a smoking cigarillo between your fingers.
In this film, there are no texts, nor voiceover, but every architectural object in it speaks through image, foley sound and movement, through metaphors of each playful sketch. The film director combines various genres and tools : stop-motion animation, contemporary dance, and silent film elements. Each segment of the film intrigues with a different enchanting artistic spell.
Klostės does not try to recreate the spirit of historically correct modernism, it revisits it from today’s perspective. The film has some features of surrealism, even Gothic aesthetics, it aims to inspire and make us smile with its interplay of the past and the future, reality and industry, characters living and dead. In this game of imagination both the local viewer and the guest are invited to participate with full emotional involvement.
After watching this film, you will be convinced that the magic of Kaunas architecture, perhaps forgotten or unnoticed before, or made commonplace and blended into the mundane, can be served as gourmet cakes, and make a sweet impression when it’s done with a good portion of humour and bold wit.” (Sandra Bernotaitė)
Duration 67' | Director/writer Aideen Barry | Director of Photography Mikas Zabulionis | Music Composers : Arūnas Periokas, Patris Židelevičius, Ieva Raubytė | Editor & Colourist Aleks Rydzkowska | Foley Artist – Dominyka Adomaitytė | Visual effects – Aleksandras Polevojus, Simonas Korsakas, Qi Qian. | Production : Kaunas 2022 / Modernism for the Future
Director of Klostės
Aideen Barry visual artist based in Ireland but with an international profile. Her means of expression are interchangeable, incorporating performance, sculpture, film, text and experimental lens-based media, She often employs visual trickery to create a heightened suspension of reality that comments on otherness; often collaborating with artists & communities to manifest her multi-diverse socio-political works.
She is a member of Aosdána and the Royal Hibernian Academy. Barry lectures in several universities and schools of visual art in Ireland, the US, South America and Europe. Currently, her first feature film Klostés, commissioned by Kaunas 2022, is touring international film festivals including Newport Beach (USA), Oaxaca (MX), The IFI (IRL), Galway Film Fleadh (IRL), London Festival of Architecture (UK), Cordoba Film Fest(ARG) and showing around the world at other experimental film festivals.
Her work is in prestigious private and public collections globally. In 2021 she won the Thomas Dammann Junior Memorial Trust Award, the Golden Fleece Award, and a Project award from the Arts Council of Ireland to support her current touring body of work, the "By Slight ligaments" touring, Okela Gallery Bilbao (ESP), The Whitaker Museum (UK) and Centre Culturel Irlandais (FRA). In October 2022, she was commissioned by the European Union and The Irish Postal Service An Post to create a set of stamps which are available across the EU. In 2023 she takes up the ISCP residency in New York awarded by TBGS and she will lecture at Wellesley women's college, Harvard. In 2023 she will undertake a residency and solo show for Salzburg Kunstverein in Austria.
CEO at Kaunas - European Capital of Culture 2022
Dr Virginija Vitkienė (b.1975) is an art critic and curator, lecturer, editor of art publications, and head of international projects in arts and research. She is an initiator and, since 2015 – a head of project “Kaunas – European Capital of Culture 2022” the biggest culture project in Lithuania. In the framework of this project, she curated William Kentridge exhibition “That which we do not remember” in Kaunas (January – November 2022).
Since 2004 she is a curator of international exhibitions and projects in cooperation with Kaunas Biennial, National Museum of M.K.Ciurlionis, gallery “Meno parkas”, Lithuanian Artists’ Association, Vytautas Magnus University, Contemporary Art Centre Le Magasin (Grenoble), Leipcig BaumwollSpinnerei, etc. Since 2001 publishing in the culture press and catalogues in Lithuania and abroad. Since 2008, she has a PhD degree in Art History, focusing on contemporary art.