2010 02 18 - 04 18

Aleksandras Macijauskas

Aleksandras Macijauskas
Photography series 'Demonstrations'. (1965-1986)

It took Aleksandras Macijauskas more than two decades (1965-1986) to create the series 'Demonstrations'. He used his camera to capture the May (the celebration of the Red Army's victory in the Second World War on May 9, 1945) and October (the commemoration of the October Revolution that took place on October 7, 1917) demonstrations in Kaunas, participation in which was obligatory for the city's residents at the time. The photographer's perspective is particularly important in this series - he is neither a participant of the demonstrations nor a passive observer. Macijauskas is an insightful commentator. The photographer's commentary bares the farce and absurdity of the Soviet propaganda. The demonstrators depicted in his photographs often look exhausted and absent-minded, rather than joyful and happy as the Soviet authorities required them to be. Some merry citizens, already slightly tipsy, dance folk dances and mischievously grin in front of the photographer's camera. The wide-angle lens distorts the appearance of reality, creating expressive angles and blowing up separate elements beyond the frame of the shot - the author employs these effects to emphasise the comic and meaningless nature of situation.

Aleksandras Macijauskas was born in Kaunas, Lithuania, on May 16, 1938. Graduated from high school in 1962. Attended lector courses in 1977. Studied Western philosophy independently in 1973-1977. Worked as a photojournalist at the Kaunas branch of the Evening News daily in 1967-1973. Has served as the chairman of the Kaunas branch of the Union of Lithuanian Art Photographers since 1974. Awarded the status of an art photographer by the Federation of International Art Photographers in 1978. Distinguished as an Honorary Culture Worker of Lithuania in 1986. Awarded the honorary title of Emeritus Art Photographer in 1994. Laureate of the Lithuanian National Culture and Art Award in 1995. Awarded the Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas of the 5th class in 1998. Laureate of the Balys Buračas award and the award of the President of the Republic of Poland - the Gold Cross of Merit - in 2006.

Ieva Mazūraitė-Novickienė