The Off-Space Q&A column began in July 2020, as a way to highlight and connect the independent, artist-run spaces and projects, or otherwise difficult to define initiatives that exist across East and Central Europe. It is a space devoted to platforming the critical and often under-recognized role that these projects, collectives, spaces, and people play in the biome of the contemporary art world. [#Off Space Q&A]
apiece is a window gallery in the center of Vilnius (M.K. Čiurlionio st.) exhibiting a single work of contemporary visual art or a design object at a time. The gallery does not adhere to the common exposition space standards – it does not have exhibition openings, has no working hours or days (24/7), and presents the works / objects in space that is visible to the viewer through the showcase window.
The format of apiece exhibitions has been dictated by the size of the space (320cm x 175cm) along with our wish to encourage the audience to take closer interest in the author of the work/object or in contemporary art as a whole.
apiece is a phenomenon for which cramped physical space is not the limit – rather the end result of the long matured concept that has gained a physical body; at the same time, it is a provocation for artists – to express (the whole of) oneself in a single work format.
Founders and curators of apiece
Aušra Trakšelytė & Milena CM
Was it a good idea?
Who/what has held you up?
We should start with ourselves: we have been close friends for many years, and now colleagues, who complement and support each other constantly. We are from different fields of art: Aušra holds a PhD in Art history and criticism, Milena is a designer. Our personalities are reflected in working and curating models, which are equally important, including contemporary art and conceptual design. Another thing is the concept of apiece. Our gallery can catch you by surprise: going to/from work, meetings, etc. It is a gallery which is always there and waiting for you, always on the way, it does not have open hours and the exhibitions are always available for viewers; it is a showcase gallery in a very beautiful and popular part of Vilnius. Finally, what has held us up is the desire to have our own gallery. Now we have it and it‘s very special.
Is there a limit?
Yes, – the sky, space and the budget… On the other hand, the cramped physical gallery space is not the limit – rather the end result of the long matured concept that has gained a physical body.
What do you need?
More time. Despite the fact that the gallery shows one artwork at a time and the exhibitions change each 6 weeks, we do many things as apiece which are ‘unseen’.
What has been given and what do you take?
What has been given: The passion, love for art, friends who always are there when we need help; Vilnius – the city where it is easy to realize your dreams, or at least easier than elsewhere. What do we take: All the opportunities, with a critical gaze, of course.
Is it sustainable?
Yes, it is. Of course it is. We take responsibility for our acts and consciously behave with the environment (green area) around the gallery. The sustainability also is visible in our exhibitions; we try to use secondary usage materials for installation of the exhibition, or vice versa. Artists/artworks talk about global warming, eco systems, consumerism problems, and questioning sustainability in general.
What is the shape?
A Frame. To be more specific, it is a window frame. The story of our gallery began in 2018 in a window of a building in the Old Town, as a showcase window. Since 2020 we have had our own gallery, whose architecture is based on this original window frame from the Old Town, thus maintaining the impression of a showcase window.
Does it fit?
Not always. apiece is specific not only as a working model or shape (320cm x 175cm). At the same time, it is a provocation for artists – to express (the whole of) oneself in a single work format.
The artwork in the gallery can be seen from both windows, so 2D works usually do not work, or video – because of the environmental reflections.
Future or Past?
Both. The Future is adventure, the past is important.
What do you measure?
Hah, good question! Nothing except the artwork size and if it will fit through the door.
Digital or physical?
Why do you stay?
Because of its originality and novelty.
Is it enough?
This last question was added in April 2022: In acknowledgement of the continuing Russian war on Ukraine: do you have anything you would like to share?
What is happening in Ukraine is the tragedy and the genocide of Ukrainian people. We are very sad and worried. We are trying to contribute by supporting Ukraine and we see this as the cruelest disaster of the 21st century. Generally, we believe that people have the right to be what they want, where they want and with whom they want.
|apiece apiece gallery Aušra Trakšelytė Kathryn Zazenski Lithuania Milena CM Off Space Q&A Vilnius