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Secret Thirteen Interview - Aidas Bareikis

Aidas Bareikis was born in Vilnius, Lithuania in 1967 and graduated from the Vilnius Art Academy in 1993. He came to America the same year and completed the MFA program from Hunter College in 1997. Bareikis’ work has been selected the first Athens Biennial opening in September ’07, he has had solo exhibitions at Grand Arts in Kansas City, MO, The Kunsthalle Wien, Zacheta Center for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, Asbaek gallery, Copenhagen, Miller Durazo gallery in Los Angeles, Contemporary Art Center in Vilnius, Lithuania. Also he has participated in shows such as “Generation Z”, and “Greater New York” at PS1/MOMA “Crossing the Line” at the Queens Museum, in New York City. Aidas Bareikis lives and works in New York City.

Bareikis’s conscription in the early 1990s to fight the Soviet war in Afghanistan prompts the appearance of scourge and death themes in his works. He assembles his contemporary anachronisms from rubbish discarded on the street or purchased at ubiquitous 99-cent stores, flea markets and thrift shops: toxic techno waste, rusty car parts, plastic sci-fi masks, emulsion, salt, acid, sprayed foam, melted wax etc. He chooses objects that “look weird but also betray a certain cruel exploitation in their purpose or in the way that they were manufactured”, Bareikis states. These bizarre „objet trouvés“ are subjected to the effects of fire, pressure, light, chemical substances and his own designed mechanisms. Objects are transformed into a tableau of orchestrated chaos. Bareikis surveys the detritus resulting from consumer culture, environmental decay and decomposition alongside the philosophical and emotional limbo modern society can produce.

Aidas Bareikis makes an authentic response to Dada and surrealist ideas and is able to fuse surrealistic humor and social commentary with a alchemical carpentry to create emotionally moving scenarious.

Interview with Aidas Bareikis:

Satisfaction - Last night I saw Michael Machalchick‘s performance at Canada gallery, up on Chrystie st. When he started to staple bacon on the wall… – suddenly – it was very satisfying… Why? / The other night I went to Jonas‘ (Mekas) opening. Jonas – the Father of underground cinema, (who‘s been through so much – concentration camps and Warhol factories…), world famous dissident and papparazi, all respect and appreciation, but – no satisfaction… Why? Don‘t forget! – if the only thing of importance is choosing!, and, also, the fact of the situation is, that – when people choose nothing else over themselves, each one, – choosing is everything, so choose with great care and loving…

Energy - There are a few magic words, which can help you: Unlove…, Outdistance domestication…, Kriminalitet Banalitat: un enemy common…, Destiny: Void and Voyager…, Unworld…, and so on…

Creator - This time – in memory of Audrius Naujokaitis. He was first of all a Critic (and not completely understood as such), – like J.G. Hamann in the 18th century – the ferocious critic of Rationalism (and probably, the first critic of Modernism to be), who stated that believe is fundamentally prior to reason and not vice versa. With his stormy ultimatums, – Audrius rebelled – free-from constraint and forced systems – to- freedom – , (…so gentle in his exercise).

Reason - Because everything is choosing, – you must choose with great care and loving…, but the reason! for this particular choice I made, I honestly don‘t remember. According to my mom , I did this choice when I was 3 years old. No memory of that at all whatsoever.

Encouragement - You do what you can, and you don‘t do what you can not.

Theory - Freedom is broke and bust.


Talisman - I have a cat, but it’s not my talisman.

Hope - The subtle shifts that happened in the last 30 years, indicate a certain deflation of authorities (for example, once unquestionable science – became reduced to servitude to technologies, there is no more trustworthy uncompromising political power anymore, and so on…) So, – the Future was: be a prophet…

Invention - The screw. Holds together a lot of shit. Most widely used everyday, yet discarded with no thought to it. Yet the relationships between mass, size, velocity, weight, surface tension and so on is amazing. Just think of your ceiling.

Remembrance - Lithuanian independence, no doubt. For our generation it is like a dream. We felt it, conceived it, took the risks for it, but never touched it or have it. It went straight from soviet occupation to emigration. Beautiful.

Totem - Hazelnut owl (big eyes).

Existence - I still hold on to a spinoza-like idea that despite endless infinities forever everywhere, one is still driven to his/her essence, human and personal.


Effectiveness - I don’t believe in productivity anymore (although I used to, must admit).

Necessity - NYC.

Watch video interview (in Lithuanian) filmed by Evaldas Jansaspt.1 pt.2

More about Aidas Bareikis:
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