Mindaugas Navakas ‘Swimmers I, II’

Focusing on urban water collections as an environmental phenomenon, Mindaugas Navakas’ elegiac ‘Swimmers’ will be displayed inside the Riga canal, sheltered away from the bustle and hustle of city life. Utilising interaction between the object and its environment, the artist attempts to provide new, atypical associations of this historical place.

Mindaugas Navakas (1952) belongs to the generation of sculptors that significantly changed the understanding of sculpture in the 1970s-1990s by turning to the aesthetic self-worth of form and material, as well as by re-interpreting the heritage of late abstractionism. Interest in the post-modern dialogue between a location, its culturally historic meaning and the visual dimensions of a work of art exhibited there (a sculpture, installation, object or projection) is evident in his work. In this dialogue metaphysical fear and existential restlessness merge with irony and frivolous moods. A wide range of creative strategies and materials contrast in unexpected ways with the different elements of culture, nature and industry, demanding a closer look at the surrounding environment – the artist transforms the cult objects and goods of consumer society into recycled materials. Mindaugas Navakas has studied architecture and sculpture, lives and works in Vilnius. He has received several significant awards in Lithuania and in the Baltic for his creative practice, as well as the Herder Prize for his contribution to the democratisation of cultural life and the promotion of peace in international relations