Gintaras Didziapetris

Born in 1985 in Vilnius (LT)
Lives and works in Vilnius (LT)


Russian slide projector from the 1970s, color slide
Dimensions variables
Year of Purchase: 2009

Gintaras Didziapetris’s work weaves itself into being as a web linking images, objects, moments in history… Composite and referential, his work as a whole belongs to the lineage of conceptual artists of the 1970s. If we were to pinpoint the locus of its production, we could designate neither a space nor an “object,” but history itself―time as the field of action. Gintaras Didziapetris bridges ideas and generates meaning through the practice of anachronism―or, to be more precise, at the risk of abusing the syntax, “trans-chronism,” which consists in the superposition of past forms, images, and objects and delivers them to a present interpretation.

In this respect, Sputnik (2007) is rather revealing of the bases of the artist’s interests. Composed of an impressive slide projector which displays an image of the Earth seen from space, the work proposes as much a visual as a theoretical representation of the world. It plays on the correlation between a lexical field and a formal vocabulary in order to bring together divergent temporalities. So on the one hand, there is the heavy fossil of a projector which, far from being effaced by the image, imposingly looms on its pedestal. A product of 1970’s Russia, the device labeled “Sputnik” clearly alludes to the first satellite sent into space in 1957 by the Soviets. On the other hand, there is an image that could have come straight from Sputnik’s photographic records if not for the fact that the Russian satellite never produced any. This Earth viewed from space was in fact shot by Americans. Blue Marble is its title and it was taken from Apollo 17 in 1972―a date which coincides with the year the Russian projector was commercially released.

That year thus becomes a point of convergence, an anchor. The image and the instrument of its visualization coexist in time and are brought together in the work, transported to us. Despite their political and symbolical antithesis, the slide and the mechanism required for its appearance are linked by the simple act of rapprochement constructed by the artist. The technique and the subject complement each other and relate the ways the two rival cultures viewed the world. The use of the name of the blind satellite as the brand of a slide projector in itself sheds light on an intellectual position that privileges the system of transmission (vision) over the very object of that transmission (the subject). Gintaras Didziapetris’s work becomes the meeting point for the two lines of the gaze: one is directed towards the infinite, through projection and exploration; the other, that could be termed analytical, reflects back on itself and refers to the world.

Gintaras Didziapetris’s works constitute different ways of conceptually elaborating systems, of reassigning them a certain form of subjectivity in order to influence our relation to the world. Out of desire for dislocation and transversality, the artist creates hyper-links connecting different places, temporalities, histories, and cultures. He develops a synthetic history built on the principle of mutation of existing fragments and values, and thus succeeds at setting the branches of knowledge in motion.

Guillaume Mansart