There are cycles and rhythms, geometrical, historical, planetary. These might be all the same surfaces made out of words and numbers we try to pierce through, and yet keep going back to where we were—unknowing.

In June, during Black Lives Matter protests happening worldwide I wrote to my friend that I see some parallel between what is happening today and one century ago. Killing of George Floyd, an African-American man by a white police officer began a wave of protests against police violence and one of the largest movements in U.S. history that spread internationally. Almost a century earlier, across the Atlantic, Assassination of Archduke Ferdinand marked the beginning of the I World War splitting the world into coalitions and political enemies, and spread of communism from its core center in Russia. Two humans, two historical figures, one black, another white, two deaths bringing mass civil uprising worldwide.

A friend replied to my message—I want the systems to burn. These words and images of punk youth from 80’s sunk inside of me and settle like a dust somewhere in my body. There is a reason to every expression and ideology, and this reason keeps turning upside down the worldly affairs every time. We keep hearing from scientists and philosophers there is a problem with reason, and reasonable thinking. Yet mind is a word, and words very often let us down.

I find myself in Graz, a place of birth to Archduke Ferdinand and I keep thinking about what has changed since his death in 1914. The questions of inequality, class struggle and capitalism persist and morph into a more complex narratives as we face questions of biology and ecology. I am thinking what the world would be like if the leaders that fought for democracy in the last century would survive the battles.

Amid the moments of global state of emergency caused by the novel virus my mind goes through radical uncertainty and questions the ground on which I am standing as an artist. Fundamentally, I see art serving the community and being part of it, not outside of it. How to find motivation and keep practising curiosity and openness when the work of art seems to serve little in the eyes of a medical worker, food seller, scientist, lawyer, teacher? In his ABC Miloscz mentioned that during the II World War he wrote his most tender poetry. How he managed to do it? It was the only way to survive the brutality of life and reality— to dream.

Indeed, writing and moving with the brush calms me down, this energy touching surface continues living in paper and gestures. If the harmony, lust, and joy I feel inside can be transferred to the viewer, this dialog is complete and I dont need to disturb it with my words.

23rd of August marked the anniversary of Baltic Chain, a peaceful political demonstration against Soviet occupation in which two million people joined their hands to form a human chain across the three Baltic countries. This year Lithuanians in support of Belorussians rallying against the last remaining European dictator Alexander Lukashenko, joined their hands to form a human chain from Vilnius to the Belarus border. This might have been the biggest live art performance that happened in the last 30 years in Lithuania yet it would never gain more or less being called so. Unanimous in the moments of radiant epiphany, we transfer deep messages that create a significance beyond words.

Perhaps my answer to what is art for would be simple—it is the memory of emotional experience, personal or collective, that is revived every time the artist sits down to make a new piece. By reviving this experience we help each other understanding what it is to be one of us.

I let my hands make gestures and movements.
I let the paper soak in ink and wrinkle from water.
I let colour change according to light, time and space I dont need to interrupt these dialogs, because thoughts are alive and so is everything that embodies them.

Viktorija Rybakova