14th Kaunas Biennial

14th Kaunas Biennial: exhibition Long-distance Friendships

25 August – 29 October, 2023

2023 marked the 14th edition of both the Survival Kit and the Kaunas Biennial. As a result of close friendship and exchange of ideas, both events weregiven the same title – Long-distance Friendships. Bringing together nearly 40 artists from Africa, Eastern Europe, and its diasporas in two countries, curators Alicia Knock and Inga Lāce offered visitors to explore stories of transnational solidarity, resistance and resilience in a post-socialist and post-colonial world where micro-histories of friendship become the starting point for contemporary alliances. 

The 14th Kaunas Biennial took place in one of the most important masterpieces of Lithuanian interwar architecture – the former Kaunas Post Office (1931, architect Feliksas Vizbaras). This post office once served as a connection point for the USSR and many African countries. Behind the official institutional mask, it was a space of smuggling and resistance at the same time, which the curators wanted to illuminate through the language of contemporary art. The exhibition Long-distance Friendships in Kaunas encouraged thinking about the relationship between official and unofficial spaces, recalling the post office as a site of surveillance and censorship. Artists shared personal stories of solidarity movements and resistance actions that once brought together people from different countries, backgrounds and beliefs. The Biennale venue most directly reflected the central aim of Long-distance Friendships: to listen, to express and to understand in order to build respectful friendship and solidarity between everyone.

More information about the 14th Kaunas Biennial can be found here.

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