"Homo Absentia" – the Lewben Art Foundation exhibition in the squares of Vilnius

As Estonian composer Arvo Pärt has put it in one of his rare interviews in the face of the pandemic, humanity is a single living organism, which unstoppably counts the economic and human losses that are increasingly visible in reports and result in the breakdown or loss of human connections. The ‘rising’ cost of protected life testifies to the way humanity is interrelated. Is this a new experience? Previous shocks or a growing imbalance of relationships and values in modern daily life have also led to similar reflections and assessments.

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How things change having isolated people (Imantas Selenis), de-humanised public spaces (Paulius Petraitis), isolated and broken human relations (Indrė Urbonaitė), and transferred them to a virtual space (Geistė Kinčinaitytė)? Is there still space for public secrets when relationships disappear and what is the price attached (Visvaldas Morkevičius)? What are the collections of closed or unvisited museums, the appropriated territories of Mars and the uncomfortably empty cold cities of the world worth? Don’t people in masks walking down the streets remind us of detained citizens hiding their identities and awaiting for their interrogation at a remand centre to begin? Can we scan our memory, digitise the experience of our life journey and virtualise human relationships? It is possible and worth asking these questions, however, we may not be able to answer them for sure.  It will only be for sure if we have the one and only person nearby for the sake of whom we do it all.

The person is missing / absent / homo absentia is an exhibition of important, often young Lithuanian artists held in the open space against the background of restricted operations of Lithuanian museums and galleries. Many of the artworks in the exhibition contain insights or documentation of losses that have been collected long before the voluntary or forced isolation began. The idea of the exhibition was inspired by the photographic works that are part of the collection of the Lewben Art Foundation.


Curator – Gintaras Česonis
Artists: Geistė M. Kinčinaitytė, Visvaldas Morkevičius, Paulius Petraitis, Imantas Selenis, Indrė Urbonaitė
Organiser – Lewben Art Foundation
Architecture – IMPLMNT architects
Graphic designer – Ugnė Balčiūnaitė
Partners: Lithuanian Photographers Association, Vilnius City Municipality, JCDecaux
Sponsors: Lewben, Enercom Capital, Strategy Labs, Nordgain, Ellex Valiunas, Orion, Lithuanian Council for Culture, Živilė ir Jonas Garbaravičiai, Lina ir Tomas Kučinskai
Friends – Svema
Media Sponsors: 15min, 7md,, Echo Gone Wrong

Open air exhibition in the squares of Vilnius – "Homo Absentia" New artwork in the collection – "A Tale of Romance" by Soshiro Matsubara
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