Silence Before The Curve

Aidas Bareikis

June 16, 2001 – July 28, 2001 359 Broadway

Press Release

Leo Koenig Inc. is pleased to announce the opening of “Silence before the Curve,” an installation by Aidas Bareikis. Two years ago, Aidas Bareikis’ large scale, mixed media sculpture entitled “Embarkation For Cythere” was presented as the inaugural exhibition at the gallery’s first home in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Suggesting Antoine Watteau’s 1717 painting by the same name, at that time Bareikis related a “three dimensional reading of abstraction and virtual entropy.”

In “Silence before the Curve,” Bareikis embarks on a more cinematic journey. His starting point is a fascination with space travel, technology and exploration. Bareikis focuses on the conflicting representations of the “final frontier.” On one hand is the hermetic presentation that we have all become familiar with, by directors such as Stanley Kubrick and Andrei Tarkovsky. On the other, is the reality of space tourist Dennis Tito paying millions of dollars to be encapsulated with strangers in tight quarters and less than ideal hygienic conditions. A trip to the Smithsonian reveals that our most sophisticated Lunar landing vehicles look as if they were pieced together with tin foil and wire. Here, Bareikis makes a sly correlation with art practice itself, contrasting the arduous process of creating, with the seemingly effortless results of some contemporary progenitors of beauty through high production values.

With “Silence Before the Curve,” Bareikis takes a decidedly “Low Fi” approach initiating what he calls a “strategy of impoverishment.” Constructed entirely from found objects that appear to have been through an acid rain and sealed in a plasticized lava, one becomes witness to an alchemic transformation. The objects within the installation exude a technological potentiality that has been temporarily interrupted. Meanwhile, iridescent color deliberately sets a mood of frenetic jubilance that belies the artifacts seemingly trapped by the monochrome quagmire of Bareikis’ own equation. In an instant, the installation becomes an external manifestation of an intensely personal, internal landscape. At once hopeful and apocalyptic, ebullient and nightmarish, Bareikis relates a journey from the celebratory to the commemorative.

Aidas Bareikis was born in Vilnius, Lithuania in 1967 and graduated from the Vilnius Art Academy in 1993. He came to America the same year and completed the MFA program from Hunter College in 1997. He was awarded a Fullbright Scholarship and has been the recipient of a Soros Foundation Grant. Aidas Bareikis has shown in “Generation Z,” and “Greater New York” at PS1/MOMA and has had a solo exhibition at Podewil in Berlin. Currently, his work is included in the exhibition “Crossing the Line” at the Queens Museum. He lives and works in New York City.