When faced with crisis, humanity looks for answers. For good or ill, invention grows in the wake of stagnation and contradiction, initiating a voyage to the unknowable. To the heavens, through hymns. Within the cards, amongst the leaves. In silicon, in science.
Our prior year’s cycle of meditation presented an extended opportunity to change our pace, reconsidering fundamental elements of life and practice. We did this by attempting an audacious and global answer when such plans appeared difficult. Together, we questioned whom and what we work toward when the corporeal experience becomes impossible, or at least impractical.
High Limits is Autarkia’s latest initiative, featuring new commissions from international artists, most of whom are engaging online space for the first time. More than a static exhibition with a fixed running time, High Limits is an ongoing platform to supplement Autarkia’s physical spaces. Its non-space will background a public programme of activities in the months following launch, remaining open for expansion with future artist interventions.
A project of Autarkia, organized by JL Murtaugh, Robertas Narkus
Commissions from Seecum Cheung, Cole Lu, Robertas Narkus, Ignas Pavliukevičius
Graphic design by Nerijus Rimkus, coordinated by Lukas Strolia.
High Limits is initiated in collaboration between Seecum Cheung, Cole Lu, Robertas Narkus, Ignas Pavliukevičius, Antanas Skucas, Mantas Talmantas, Emma Rae Bruml Norton, Jonas Narbutas, Joris Cižikas, Indrė Liutkutė, Laura Kaminskaitė.
Produced with the support of the Lithuanian Council for Culture
We are very grateful to our supporters, patreons and Monika Mačiulytė.
It's hot down here, but it's clean, and it has the most beautiful slow sunset
The collapsed European post-Enlightenment promise of space travel is thematically constant in Cole’s recent works, typically intricate, complex, and precise sculpture produced by hand. The Pioneer Plaque on the US Voyager spacecraft recurs as a reference, whose intent was to communicate the fundamentals of human society to interstellar entities without any access or reference to it. The symbols of the plaque are layered with the image of a Geryon, a winged three-bodied giant originating in the labours of Heracles. These icons become a dashboard for an archive documenting Cole’s search toward what awaits the remnants of humanity in its next epoch.
Cole Lu refashions mythological storytelling and science fiction in sculpture and text by remixing historic materials both ancient and recent. He is currently in the exhibition Wallwerk at Nir Altman, Munich DE and recently in Syndicate’s presentation (with Bri Williams) for NADA Miami 2020 in San Francisco US and Vilnius LT.
He was born in Taipei TW and lives in New York US.
How to feel real
At the end of 2020, amidst an exhausted and isolated world, desperate airlines promoted flights to nowhere. Qantas, for example, introduced a very popular seven-hour flight, departing from Sydney—and returning to the same starting point. Inspired by this surreal marketing technique, Robertas Narkus pushes the concept further, employing a meditation of aimless, simulated travel to confront our numbed senses.
Narkus invites viewers into a Boeing 737-800 flight trainer for a series of uncontrolled takeoffs and landings at various world airports, with an enigmatic soundtrack composed with musician Jonas Narbutas—aka Kabloonak—as its backdrop.
Robertas Narkus employs circumstance as a creative force, inviting opportunity and curiosity in order to bridge conceptual distance. Narkus will represent Lithuania in the 2022 Venice Biennale. His recent projects include The Board at Vartai Gallery, Vilnius LT and Prospect Revenge at David Dale Gallery, Glasgow UK.
He was born 1983 in Lithuania and lives in Vilnius LT.
Camera: Vilius Vaitiekūnas
Soundtrack: Jonas Narbutas
Flute: Vincas Gikas
I am writing because it's late
Using the French-Colonial-era post office of Ho Chi Minh City as its focal point, Cheung composed an open dreamscape, functioning as both a sketch for a coming film and a contemplative dead letter—correspondence that never reaches its destination. The audio is drawn from the traditional Ca Tru laments of Vietnamese women, while the surroundings incorporate fragments of text, families, and fading memories no longer accessible to sender or receiver.
Seecum Cheung is an investigator of cultural trauma through film and memory, often probing the immediate political consequences that surround her. Her recent projects include Vital Capacities with videoclub (UK); The Patio: Play with Syndicate at Arcade Gallery, London UK; and The Dutch Window at Grand Union Gallery, Birmingham UK.
She was born in Coventry UK and lives in Rotterdam NL.
Morph is an internet organism, living within computations and merging aspects of human and digital life. Equal parts parasite and paradox, a clone and an individual. Morph is a digital parasite, feeding on constant information gathered through interactive data transmissions between human senders. It learns and evolves from its online environment. The growth of its artificial personality is directly linked to real-time textual input generated by TikTok users, constantly affecting Morph’s behavior and movements.
Ignas Pavliukevicius’ works explore the grey area between humans and technology, the zone of ambiguity. His work interrogates how people emotionally relate to digital stimuli and where digital creations start to become self-aware and independent of their creator.
gnas Pavliukevičius completed his bachelor's studies at the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague and his master's studies at the Department of Photography and Media Art of the Vilnius Academy of Arts where he is currently continuing studying for a doctorate. Pavliukevičius' works have been shown in Amsterdam, The Hague, Leeuwarden, Tallinn, Turin, Vilnius and Nida. He collaborated with the artist Julijonas Urbonas in the project "Planet from People" and at the Ars Electronica Vilnius Garden Festival in 2020. https://ignaspav.com.
Programing: Pavelas Volginas, Egidijus Bachur
3D modeling : Giedrius Sakalys
3D skeletal system developer: Nojus Kalinauskas