Night watch, HuidenClub, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Night Watch, a solo show by Paulius Šliaupa, is a poetic wander between the real and computer-generated urban environments. Curated by Liv Vaisberg the exhibition follows a peering gaze into the darkness, beyond the visible and the audible, into the hollowness which attracts. The exhibition title refers to the painting of Rembrandt van Rijn where the soft light envelops the beautified characters standing in an entrance to a dark corridor. What could a contemporary spectator imagine hiding in that darkened space? Maybe it is not so easy to discern the real and the generated interiors in one's imagination when growing up in front of a computer screen. What could my Lithuanian cousin, a night guard, see wandering the dark factory corridors? I recall the phrase spoken by Jake in Stephen King's series of books "The Dark Tower": "Go then there are other worlds than these." What could the wanderer's experience in between the different worlds be?
'The tower' in the old Diepeveen building connects with its past. Previously it was a theater and an opera decoration production company. This video wanders between real and generated resting interiors where shadows awaken. The damp spaces seem to be a timeless abandoned set for radiating lights springing a sensation that all might be coming to an end. This work is a collaboration between Paulius Šliaupa and Tessa Langeveld, soundscape was made by Siebe Thijs.
'The monk' evokes man's changing relationship with nature in a poetic way. It presents the consequences this has on people's daily life and the feeling of loss and alienation this causes on a personal level. Referring to the painting of Caspar David Friedrich's "The Monk by the Sea," this work deals with sublime contemporary experiences. Aerial shots of frosted Lithuanian landscapes and cityscapes are accompanied by a male voice recounting his childhood winter experiences in words and expressions mimicking the winter soundscape. This video connects with the narrow tower springing from the Diepeveen building by providing a secluded observation point that could almost become a cell for the watcher.
The monochrome paintings are inspired by fragments from the two videos, the vast winter landscapes, human traces, and the remains of what once was. The winter light does not repeat itself or freeze but spreads with the unceasingly changing environment. The observation, likewise painting, can also be called a ritual of remembrance, imagining, and trying to relate. The painted everyday details merge and fade away, leaving only a few unforgettable, infinitely recurring motifs reminding us of the vast atmospheres from where they come.
Paulius (b. 1990 Vilnius, Lithuania) holds a BA in painting and an MFA in contemporary sculpture in Vilnius Academy of Arts, Vilnius, Lithuania, an MFA in media arts in KASK, a laureate degree at HISK postgraduate residency program in Ghent, Belgium.