Hi, Tadas! The first question would be about interdisciplinary art. At first, we got to know you as a photographer but it’s clear that this description is simply too narrow because you work with sound, videos, texts and even illustration and graphics. You have a lot of different ideas. Tell us how your ideas get their form in one or the other format and how do you find them and apply to one another? Did you always experiment this much, or is it something that you started recently?
Different forms of expression that I work with perform a different function every time or more precisely affect me in different ways. That is why I choose them according to my inner needs. Usually, I know the tool that I want to work with before any deeper idea development and it rarely changes during the working process. However, there are occasions, when, while creating a piece, one tool complements another. This process is similar in group projects as well. It’s just that, in this case, the inner demand is not my personal but of the whole group. However, because I am studying in an art academy at the moment, where, for now, I have to do artistic tasks that are associated with certain formats, I don’t think about that too often. As about the experimenting, I have quite a traditional point of view about life but I’ve always liked to experiment in art. I’m not radical in this case but it’s always interesting to discover something new.
Drought of Monotony
Drought of Monotony
How do you understand photography? What artists inspire you and what photography you don’t like, if there is such?
I understand photography as one of means for an artist to convey his ideas, word–view through image but it’s special in the way that the produced picture is the same that you see in the reality. It’s not important whether it’s a document or a conceptual photo. A photograph is a shape of thought by seeing and interpretig. I am fascinated the most by an artists, who manage to create deep pieces from an aesthetical, as well as ideological side. I can also say that I am interested in people, as an object in photography, the most. A stopped moment lets you look deeper into people’s souls. It’s difficult to describe photography that I don’t like. What I don’t like the most is when you can’t feel the personality of the photographer and attempt to search for some sort of meanings, questions, solutions.
Tell us about the most interesting project that you had the chance to work with?
Even though I remember some good times from group projects, when looking deeper, the most interesting project was absolutely individual and a certain meditation. I spent this summer at my parents’ house, which is near a forest that became the base for my project. I made myself a reed instrument didgeridoo and a pinhole camera out of one tree from that forest. This way the forest was able to create sound and image through me. After doing this work, I came to the same place in the forest, where the tree was growing, and put down the wooden camera. I sat down in front of it and started playing the didgeridoo. The camera ran while I was playing and I was playing for as much time as I thought was needed. I recorded everything and presented these pieces together. So the making of the instrument and the camera was sort of preparation and the second part was the connection with the work material and becoming an integral part of the forest. It’s a shame that the viewer, seeing the final result, is more affected by the concept than the process, which in this case is probably the most important thing. Four months spent in this process probably determined its importance to me.
Drought of Monotony
Drought of Monotony
We know that you study at Academy of Arts. How do you see yourself after the studies? What road would you like to go along? Do you see yourself in Lithuania or will you go ahead and emigrate like the majority?
At the moment, I am in the second course of my studies and I don’t have clearly defined visions yet, although I do think about the future a lot. As for emigration, it’s difficult to imagine myself in such situation. If I had thought about that, I probably would have begun from studies abroad. I would gladly live in another country for a while and see what is going on there but I want to plan my personal life in a country where I was born. Everything is too close to me to leave. From the perspective of art, there would probably be lot more possibilities abroad but we live in such time when the World is a lot smaller and that’s why I believe that I can express myself not only locally in Lithuania. I am definitely not planning to stop creating after I finish studying, although I don’t know if I’m going to manage to live only off my art and if I won’t I will have to search for other ways to apply my qualifications. I hope that it won’t come to that. At the moment, I see myself living in Lithuania after studies and having a family, creating art. However, I do not see myself distanced from the rest of the world.
How do you think life of an artist is different in the Eastern and Western Europe? Do you notice any tendencies, influences?
My path as an artist is still very short. I am travelling this road and I am putting all my effort to understand where it’s going. I haven’t gone along Western Europe’s artistic roads yet but I hear that they’re quite good and asphalted. Here, in “Eastern” Europe of ours, there are holes and gravel roads that make the journey itself more difficult but these roads are surrounded by forests that haven’t been “cultured” yet and there are also other beautiful landscapes that inspire and encourage you to go forward, not necessarily straight and not necessarily on four wheels.
You touch social topics in your artworks as well. Tell us a bit more about that.
It’s almost impossible not to touch on such topics when you’re doing street photography and when you’re photographing people. Yes, there are often characters from various social layers in my photography and the most important thing to me here are the people’s psychology and their inner states. I try to capture and format the depth of people, which is usually impossible, as well as possible with the help of photography and to convey such person’s connections to the environment as I see them.
You are one of those artists, who has grown up surrounded by artists, and whose family is closely associated with art world. What experiences and influences made an impact on you while choosing the same path as members of your family?
I can’t say that I was surrounded by artists that much. Art wasn’t strange to anyone but there were only two people, to whom art was the base of life: dad and mother’s brother. And that was enough that I would feel a strong artistic atmosphere and that my own artistic perception would form. As for finding yourself in such environment, I think that it might be more difficult if people are trying to force their influence on you. I was lucky. My entire childhood I was drawing and making all sorts of strange things. Everyone saw this but no one tried to form me. They helped as much as I wanted them to help me. I did not create systematically and didn’t think about my artistic future seriously. All of it was like a game to me. And only after I went to a school in the city, I started to create art seriously. I was living alone with my grandmother and I wasn’t used to life in a big city, so I wanted to “put” myself somewhere. I started working with various means of expression, especially with photography, and the results were noticeable very quickly. I also started consulting with my dad, which is something that I did not do when I was living at home. I think that such strong artistic progress occurred precisely because I was living in such atmosphere where I could have searched for myself with nobody stopping and pushing me.
Tell us about that episode of your life, which you already mentioned when we were talking. Tell us about art and music schools on opposite sides of a street.
At that time I was 10 or 11 years old. I was living in a village, where I was attending private piano lessons and I was going to a sports school ten kilometers away, although, it seemed that there could be some more activity. After showing a lot of desire, my parents decided that I have to go to a music school, which was thirty kilometers away from our village. Because I was more distinguished in drawing than in musical talents and art and music schools were very close to each other It could have seemed strange that I chose music. I chose music because my dad strictly said that they can ruin me in the art school. Only very recently, when my drawing style gathered some more prominent characteristics, I understood what he had in mind and I am grateful to him for that. And as for music, I still became self–taught in this field as well and I really don’t have any regrets.
What do you think about the influence of new technologies and the Internet?
It’s natural that everything is moving forward, changing and new possibilities of expression that creators did not have before are appearing. However, the old technologies did not go anywhere, at least most of them. There are things that you can do only with new technologies and conversely, there are those that can’t be done without the old ones. I am using both. It depends on which one I need to use. There are also lot broader possibilities of communication and contacts are established a lot faster. It’s easier to show your art and there’s a faster approach to information about problems that interest you. Although I don’t like that after the appearance of endless possibilities for information I can often feel only intellectual effect of new artwork. You have to think so much and it seems that there is no more room left for feeling which was primal function of art. Such artworks make sense only after you manage to fully read it.
Well, and the last question would be about inspiration. What inspires you and how do you get ideas and energy to go forward?
It’s a question that is very difficult to answer with words. Usually, my inspiration asserts itself in an aesthetic form of feelings, from which later comes navel-gazing that forms the art piece or its sketch. Sometimes this period plays a very important part and sometimes it’s not even there. For example, graphics and music are usually a presentation of that period in an image or sound. So everything begins with feelings and thoughts that come from various things, which are close to your world–view. From the understanding of surrounding sounds and images to personal life. Or maybe it’s even backwards.
Thank you for great interview!