Projects on institutional critique in the context of contemporary art practice:

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Collaborative performance with Evaldas Stankevičius - Loop Reference.

The referent - of the defense ceremony for the practice based art project Toys and Games of Vygandas Simbelis achieving Master degree in Vilnius Art Academy - E. Stankevičius, a deputy director of Contemporary Art Centre in Vilnius (CAC), accomplished an artistic performance according to an institutional critique in academic surroundings. By repeatedly reading the same short abstract theoretical text several times (the idea was to loop the reference as long as possible) till evaluation committee members shut him down. The committee shut the performance down after several loop readings.

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Academic Still Life, photography series, 2009. Photograph is accompanied by student's study painting of the same still life.

More: http://simbelis.com/project/still-life/

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The project Being Background examines the concept of institutional critique in the realm of art institutions being hacked and occupied by the artist without the establishment noticing and knowing about such art acts happening in their spaces. The project is executed in the major art institutions and series of photographs together with a film is produced by documenting the interventional performances.

The iconic (and ironic) art institutional plain environment does not appeal to creativity but instead invites artists for creating critical situations through which compromises between academic and market segments may appear. Nowadays enforcement and formal organizations do collapse, a white cube phenomenon mingled with a black box, walls of museums vanished, boundaries between different art media disappeared, archives went online, and even photographing in museum became a norm, probably touching of an exhibit is already allowed, and even stealing of a masterpiece is most likely welcomed – just for the reason to promote the museum. Art institutions got systematically stuck in their own policy making and preserving old structures and mechanisms, the fake names and kitsch works from a meta-creative pollution. Belonging to an institutional discourse in a way means disappearance of artistic private and personal data beyond any comparison. In the Being Background project the white camouflage comes into consideration for being invisible in the institutional milieu of art world’s "white cube". And the artist’s separation from it with a purpose for researching and identifying institutional periphery with many stark situations is seen as a disruption and hack.

Disappearance in the white background was first time gained and successfully realized at the interventional performance for artists’ community at Ice Hotel in Kiruna, Sweden. Art residency, located several hundreds kilometers behind the Arctic Circle, and local Lapland surroundings were covered with a complete white. The project started with the video documentation of the performance and photography series were produced in the residential period as well as interventions in the wild / public space were performed. The second attempt and master pieces of the Being Background project were executed by hacking "white cube" spaces of major art organizations and it became a great adventure for the artist deconstructing the institutional phenomenon.

The project also speak about the importance of turning the background metaphor upfront, as in this context the less important things stand out. From art history we also know how landscape format changed the portrait, how noise music was born turning the focus from main subjects into "failures", how the state of "nothing" is seen as a condition filled with everything we filtering out, etc.

Interventions in Moderna Museet, National Museum, Magasin3, Liljevalchs and Fotografiska Museum in Stockholm, Sweden.
The performance in Ice Hotel, performances in public spaces of Kiruna, Sweden, 2010.
The interventional performances in major art institutions of Stockholm, Sweden, 2011.
Exhibition in Mejan gallery, Stockholm, Sweden, 2011.

Digital photographs, slide show, 16:9, 2011.
Film, documentation of performative intervention, HD, 6'48'', 2011.
Printed c-print photographs, 90x120, 2012.

A link to photography series.