Vineta Kaulača. A Matter of Time
From 13 May to 6 August 2023, Vineta Kaulača’s exhibition A Matter of Time is on view in the 4th Floor Exhibition Halls of the main building of the Latvian National Museum of Art in Riga (Jaņa Rozentāla laukums 1).
For her exhibition at the Latvian National Museum of Art, Vineta Kaulača has created a new collection of paintings. The artist arranges them based on the existing spatial layout – three interconnected exhibition halls make it possible to show independent groups of works, which at the same time are conceptually interlinked. In the exposition, the visual language of painting is presented in dialogue with other art forms – photography, cinema and architecture.
Vineta Kaulača paints spatial structures and achieves sharpened perception by freeing them of what is unnecessary. She stops time or, to the contrary, overtakes it, carrying away the gaze in the eternity of perspective. Would it be possible to remember an event from our lives, while forgetting where it took place? Perhaps memory and subjective perception has transformed the experience of space in an entirely new form. Perhaps proportions, details have changed places or have acquired a totally different order. British art theorist and writer Sally O’Reilly writes: “This shuttling of pictorial language between the singular and the universal is an ancient mnemonic device. The art of memory was a practice developed by classical Greek orators and recounted by Cicero in his Do oratore as a tool for aiding memory… In her paintings Kaulača too has turned towards the object-image, rather than the worldly scene, elevating a mirror or a lamp to symbolic status.”
The spatial installation of miniature paintings takes advantage of the modest format of the works and makes a reference to the cult of memory which gathers and preserves the gaze absorbed in photographs. The interplay of painting, photography and installation deals with the question of painting’s possible perceptions that range from image to spatial object, embodying the principle of simultaneity. Just like we recognise the whole from fragments registered by our gaze in constant motion.
In the exhibition, the synergy of the languages of painting and cinema builds from capturing the instant at the moment of its transformation, which continues the trajectory of movement towards observation, memory and the process of painting. A series of selected stills with slight shifts in the recording of space and time, which also contain information about the space between, the intermission, the before and after, about what remains undetected in the visible and continuation in the imaginary. The transient and the passing, by being transformed into the materiality of painting, give a new dimension of time and space to what is caught, experienced in a few hundredths of a second. Curator and artist Keran James says about Vineta Kaulača’s works: “Duration rather than narrative is extended in both the painting and the looking; akin to Robbe-Grillet’s literary enterprise. Kaulača asks whether paint can hold time without falsity? As we look we are momentarily aware of something we have missed, and look again. Yet it is the same except that time itself has eluded us. The time in painting and the time in looking.”
About the artist
Vineta Kaulača earned a master’s degree at the Art Academy of Latvia (2002). She studied in the Department of Visual Communication at the Berlin University of the Arts (1999–2000, Germany) and the Departments of Photography and Painting at the Humboldt State University (1995–1996, California, USA). The painter has participated in exhibitions since the mid-1990s.
Vineta Kaulača’s works are held in many public and private collections including the Latvian National Museum of Art, Art in Embassies, U.S. Embassy in Latvia, Art Collection of the European Parliament, Federculture in Rome, Italy, ABLV Bank Art Collection, Swedbank Contemporary Art Collection, SEB Bank Art Collection, Luminor DNB Bank Collection, Zuzāns Collection, and others.
Text by Elita Ansone