Anya Stonelake/White Space Gallery presents the first solo UK exhibition of one of the most influential Lithuanian photographers Algirdas Šeškus, whose work marks a turning point in Lithuanian contemporary photography. This exhibition brings together some of his most iconic works from his photographic archives (1975-1983), many published in his new book “Lyrics of Love”. Šeškus writes “Well into my sixties, it’s only now that I seem to better understand love; or rather that feeling of longing – the most vivid sign of love, or loss of it”.
For over 30 years, while officially working as a camera man on a Soviet TV and radio channel, Šeškus cultivated photography without any specific trend or direction: without proper topics, objects of artistic research, and conceptual projects, choosing the aesthetics of “amateurism” instead. This strategy enabled Šeškus to balance between the underground and official Soviet art scene, between collectivism and individualism. His work has influenced many photographers from the former Soviet Union, including Boris Mikhailov, Alfonsas Budvytis, Vytautas Balcytis, Remigijus Pacesa and Gintaras Zinkevicius. In 2010 he was the subject of a major retrospective at The National Art Gallery of Lithuania.
Lithuanian art critic Lev Anninsky describes Šeškus as rebel against “romantic photography”. He describes himself as a “provincial with a camera”, a man from the sticks, who has come to a sea-side resort or a big city. His photographs are indistinct, blurred, void of any order, messy compositions; toneless, soft, reduced images, and unexciting, nonessential content. Šeškus does not title his photographs or indicate where and when they were taken. He proclaims that photography has to be taken back to its origins: to the moment of fixing “when the very act of photography becomes an object of art.”
In recent years he has published three volumes of his, almost unknown, photographic archives from 1970s: Green Bridge, 2009, Archive (Pohulianka), 2010. His latest book “Lyrics of Love” is a profound statement against today’s indifference and alienation. It’s content primarily emotional, the images are light, intimate and warm, seemingly from a country that no longer exists.
Exhibition open: 1 March – 10 March. 10 am – 6 pm
Saturday 11am – 5 pm. Sunday closed
The Gallery. 99 Mount Street, London W1K 2TF Tube: Green Park, Bond Street