3 September - 30 September 2008

JUOZAS LAIVYS

Tulips & Roses is glad to present an exhibition by Juozas Laivys.

One can see a lot of photographs in the exhibition space. What is special about them? Immediately you notice that the shots were taken some time ago - thirty, maybe even forty years ago. The photographs are black and white, they have some scratches and dust on the surface. The images themselves are hard to decipher. Most of them are portraits: in one picture a smiling girl with a turban is sitting in a bus, looking at the camera with glittering eyes. Was she on a trip together with the photographer, or did they meet briefly somewhere and never saw each other afterwards? A man in a black coat is balancing on a frail wooden bridge above a river, looking at his reflection in the water. This just might have been his last picture. Then there are photographs of empty furniture from an exhibition which apparently took place many years ago, a street parade going backwards and an airplane rising inside a picture. There seems to be some kind of a plot unfolding in these images - or is it just in the head of the spectator?

Juozas Laivys admits that he never took these photographs. He was the one who saved them from demolition and selected for this show. His father, also Juozas Laivys, was the one who made all these pictures but also the one who had no interest in them and wanted to destroy them. Probably now both of them have to be considered authors sharing the same name and the same exhibition. But what about the viewer? The viewer is strangely entangled in different time zones, trying to figure out where does a photograph "happen" - is it in the past or the present? It starts to get difficult to stand back and really see what these images show. Yet there is nothing hidden. All of the images here reveal you the true past, but each time slightly differently - depending on where and when you are present.

This is confirmed by Juozas' verse:

The image does not tell a lot
It is a shape within another shape
That makes your time an even spot
In order to revive and then relive it

However, in order to understand anything at all one will probably have to see the exhibition.

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