Gintaras Makarevicius
The Testament of Siberia
1 Oct – 14 Nov 2010
The Darkroom at Turku Art Museum presents Sibiro testamentas (The Testament of Siberia, 2008, 14 min.) by the Lithuanian artist Gintaras Makarevičius (b. 1965). In the video, Makarevičius has combined a home movie of Christmas celebrations, shot by an unknown author, with his uncle's story of the family's deportation to Siberia during the Second World War.

The video collage builds up into an impressive universal story about human life and the horrors of war. We hear the uncle's calm voice recounting how the mother of the family walked for miles, almost barefoot, in temperatures of forty degrees below zero, and how the sheeps were gored by wolves. The lesson learnt from these childhood experiences was that human life was worthless, whereas the death of an animal could lead to problems – even to a prison sentence. Makarevičius draws a parallel between this story and the home video footage, shot in the Soviet Union in the late 1960s using 8mm film. It depicts a family's Christmas preparations that end with a joyful celebration around the dinner table on New Year’s Eve. Children and adults alike dance and wear hats and masks, and the camera shows the food on the table. When the viewer mentally illustrates the uncle's story while watching the film, mixed feelings arise. The details in the film acquire new meanings. The constant sound of the film projector echoes in the viewer's ears while close-ups of the masked revellers fade out and all that remains is white light.

Thursday, 30 September 2010, starting at 1pm, Gintaras Makarevičius will give a talk in English about his artistic practice in the Kuvateatteri of the Turku Arts Academy (Linnankatu 54–60). Admission is free and the meeting is open to the public.    

The Darkroom series of exhibitions was launched at the Turku Art Museum in 2008. In the first year, the shows presented videos and media works by Finnish artists. Artists from the other Nordic countries were showcased in 2009. The year 2010 in the Darkroom is dedicated to work by artists from the Baltic region and from Russia.

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