Sharing their experiences of meeting with foreign curators were artists Lina Lapelytė and Julijonas Urbonas and the director of “Rupert” Justė Jonutytė, the cultural attache Elena Keidošiūtė gave a talk on how connections with representatives of cultural institutions from abroad are established, and the programme director Kristina Agintaitė presented the principles of the programme operation, as well as examples of successful collaboration. The discussion was moderated by the cultural journalist Jogintė Bučinskaitė.
The Visits programme, run by the Lithuanian Culture Institute since 2015, is one of the most effective ways to present and promote Lithuanian culture abroad, as well as help the Lithuanian artists and culture professionals to get established in international networks. The programme has been developed for contemporary art curators working in various fields, as well as representatives of festivals and residencies, culture reviewers and publishers, who have an opportunity to learn about the Lithuanian art scene first hand, discover Lithuanian artists, institutions and curators, establish and strengthen international collaboration. The Visits programme also introduces the Lithuanian cultural sphere to new curating practices and encourages an exchange of ideas.
“We aim to ensure that Lithuanian artists are not only visible at major foreign festivals and curated projects but also become recognisable and create long-lasting connections”, says Kristina Agintaitė. “In my opinion, the Lithuanian arts festival “Flux” that took place in Rome in May this year was one of the most successful Visits programme results – the majority of the festival’s events took shape through close collaboration with leading Italian cultural institutions and curators who first got to know about Lithuanian artists during such exploratory visits. I hope that this energy will prove fruitful in the future, too.”
The Visits programme, the annual budget of which does not reach 50 000 Euros, has already enabled over 370 cultural professionals from 25 different countries of the world to visit Lithuania where the Lithuanian Culture Institute had organised over 1500 meetings with local artists and cultural operators. “The Festival d’Avignon, the Folkestone triennial, Seoul Performing Arts Festival, Jerusalem International Dance Week are just some of the most prominent platforms that have hosted Lithuanian artists so far. We are delighted to be part of joint theatre, dance and visual arts projects and co-productions, to see strong international collaboration on projects that are being developed in Lithuania, such as “Kaunas European Capital of Culture 2022”, and books by Lithuanian authors being published by esteemed foreign publishers”, the programme director Agintaitė expressed her joy. “It is also important to mention that all these results become possible due to the close collaboration of at least four equal partners: the Lithuanian Culture Institute, cultural attaches, Lithuanian and foreign professionals and institutions working in culture”.
Exhibitions by Andrej Polukord, Alberta Saukaitytė and Augustas Serapinas that will open at the GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst in Bremen in autumn 2018 and the OKT/Vilnius City Theatre production of “The Seagull” that is part of the Seoul Performing Arts Festival 2018 programme will complement the list of achievements facilitated by the Visits programme.