The exhibition Intersections - part of Small-Scale
Architecture, this year's series of the National Gallery of
Art's (NGA) outdoor exhibitions - examines the complexity of
architectural creativity, the dynamics of which depend not only on
the creators' aspirations but also on many circumstances beyond
their control such as goals, clients, laws, technologies, budget,
deadlines, as well as historical, cultural and political contexts.
Intersections is a metaphor of creative activity, in which
expectations and (im)possibilities collide, summarising the harmony
of architectural creativity and becoming an active element of
spatial expression. Staged outside the NGA building, the two
architectural projects implemented especially for this exhibition
are attempts by their creators to reflect on their profession based
on different approaches.
The object The Tallest Flagpole, designed by architect Darius Čiuta, conveys the image of a growing structure that signifies creative determination, courage and hope. In implementing his creative idea, the architect used concrete and steel - characteristic materials of the architectural expressions and surroundings of the NGA building. The concrete base of the flagpole is embedded on the surface of the NGA terrace, from which a 330-metre-long steel rope rises and immediately descends directly towards the river, organically intertwining with the vegetation of the adjacent Sakura Park. It is 3.5 metres taller than the Vilnius Television Tower, which sometimes becomes a flagpole during public holidays. In this way, the author invests his creative idea with symbolic meaning and encompasses within it the multifaceted harmony of architectural practice, embracing culture, civilization and nature. At the same time, the creators and visitors of the exhibition are reminded that creativity should not be limited to rational solutions and succumb to the pressures of circumstance.
The installation NGA. Impossible Architecture implemented by the creative team of the architecture studio Office De Architectura actualises the challenges posed to architectural practice by the current regulations governing the architectural design of buildings and public space. The relationship between responsibilities and freedoms arising from these regulations is questioned. Having analysed how the external, functional elements of NGA, as an excellent late-modernist building and one of the most successful building conversions in Lithuania, conform to technical building regulations, Jautra Bernotaitė, Andrius Ropolas and Paulius Vaitiekūnas have found that 'today, it would be impossible to build the gallery as we see it'. Details that do not comply with current regulations are marked with reflective tape on the pavement outside the NGA building, on the stairs, walls, windows and elsewhere. In this way, the authors of the installation ask the question: 'Does the constant insistence on regulating everything overshadow the creativity and opportunities needed to create truly unique spaces that best respond to the particular needs of each place and community?'.
Intersections is the second event in the series of NGA's outdoor exhibitions dedicated to the artistic development of architecture and the encouragement of both the architects themselves and the public to take a closer look at architecture, its inner dynamics and goals, and its significance for society and culture.
Creators and works:
The Tallest Flagpole, 2023
Architecture studio Office de Architectura (Jautra Bernotaitė, Andrius Ropolas, Paulius Vaitiekūnas)
NGA. Impossible Architecture, 2023
Exhibition curators: Mindaugas Reklaitis,
Designer: Laura Grigaliūnaitė
The exhibition is organized by the National Gallery of Art of the Lithuanian National Museum of Art
The project is financed by the Lithuanian Council for Culture
Partner: The Design Week
Sponsors: Exterus, Fundermax
Media sponsor: Centras magazine / interjeras.lt