“Heart of the City”, 2011, drawing
(graphite on paper, 68 x 53 cm)
“Facade”, 2011, drawing
(graphite on paper, 83 x 57 cm)
“2 Horizons”, 2011, illustration
(illustration on paper, 41 x 33 cm)
Just a while ago the frenzy of urban development stimulated by the economic boom in Lithuania as well as in other countries of the region, pointed up the problem of the lack of functional and conceptually integral urbanistic solutions. The new housing developments were evolving rapidly, however, they often suffered from the shortcomings of poor infrastructure, namely, the lack of kindergartens, medical centers, recreational facilities and shops. It is paradoxical that some quite successful projects of urban development were worked out during the Soviet period a few decades ago. One of the most well known examples of Soviet urbanistics is the housing development of Lazdynai in Vilnius. In 1974 the architects and the constructors of this project were awarded with the honorable Lenin‘s prize.
The pivot of the housing development of Lazdynai is a circular street around which the life of the block is centered: shops, kindergartens, green recreational zones and rational arrangement of apartment buildings. As the artist was drawing the green areas of forests and parks of the Lazdynai district on a sheet of paper, she realized that it has a shape of a heart. This shape metaphorically represents the pulsation of natural energy which can be related to the female element (“Heart of the City”, 2011, drawing). While the phallocentric tower-blocks, shooting upwards from under the trees with the concrete decoration of facades can be seen as an attempt to put control over it (“Facade”, 2011, drawing).
Although at first this rationally constructed housing development shed optimism and the belief in the future idyll of the settlers, as years went by its charm was gradually fading away, partly due to the fact that it is located away from the city centre and that the green zones turned out to be less attractive as a walk but rather scary and insecure. In the work “2 Horizons” (2011, illustration) the artist used the illustration from the publication “Lazdynai” (Liudas Verbliugevicius, Vilnius: Mintis, 1978) and readjusted it with the intension to question the socialist / patriarchal model of the life of this development.
These artworks could be accompanied with the experimental short film “Following Piece” (2011).