A turn of events in the JCDecaux Award 2023 selection process

The annual exhibition JCDecaux Award, aimed at presenting new artists and their creative work to the public, has finally finished its selection process. The project organizers have revealed that more participants than usual are going to be showcased in the upcoming exhibition.

This year, the new team –– exhibition curators Kotryna Markevičiūtė and Ona Juciūtė and the project organizers –– have decided on a non-standard approach. "115 applications have been submitted to the call. Prioritizing the integrity of the exhibition and the relational dynamics of the works of art, we diverged from the usual script, thus presenting six rather than five artworks by emerging artists. Having shortlisted some of the artists, we noticed that a curious interconnection was beginning to form between their ideas, and we wanted to keep that within the vision of the whole exhibition. Luckily, the project organizers agreed with us, only proving how flexible and adaptable to the changing circumstances this award exhibition is," – said the curators.

This fall, the JCDecaux Award will be held at the National Gallery of Art for the first time. Having finished their art education in Lithuania or abroad, emerging Lithuanian artists Joelis Aškinis, Urtė Janus, Mykolas Valantinas, Tatjana Frenkel, Sandra Golubjevaitė, and Miglė Vyčinaitė will present their works to the general public. When summarising their selection, curators have shared that "the shortlisted artists are limited neither by geographic whereabouts nor distinct genre boundaries. Here, different ways of knowing and creating are freely combined: from coding and scientific education to sculpture and performance art. Therefore, the JCDecaux Award 2023 will be a lively event wherein horror stories, adolescence, hearsay, changing states of matter, AI-generated code, folklore, imaginary devices, and real-antennas-turned exhibition visitors will all intertwine."

Each participant will get curatorial support and a budget of 1500 Eur to carry out their projects. At the end of the exhibition, the organizers will announce the winner of the 4000 Eur award based on the artwork's originality and relevance. Like every year, visitors will be invited to express their preferences too. The artist chosen by the audience will be granted the opportunity to present their work on JCDecaux Lithuania's OOH network.

The annual exhibition series and the award are the CAC and JCDecaux Lithuania's shared initiative, aimed at supporting emerging Lithuanian artists' creative work and its dissemination both nationally and internationally. The project is funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture.

JCDecaux Award 2023 participants

Joelis Aškinis lives and works in Vilnius. In 2022, he received a master's from the Vilnius Academy of Art. The artist's works mainly fall into the category of performance art, yet he prefers referring to them more adequately as meta-events. In his work, Aškinis seeks to emphasize the multilayeredness of symbols and signs, how their perception may differ, and how such semantic variance can activate the state of a present moment. 

Tata Frenkel is an artist and educator living and creating in Vilnius. In 2022, she received her master's from the Photography and Media Art Department of the Vilnius Academy of Art. The artist researches Unseen Arts (a term coined by Frenkel herself), namely, performative speaking, storytelling, and other forms of articulation or sonification.

Sandra Golubjevaitė lives and works in Amsterdam. In 2017, she graduated from the Gerrit-Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, and from 2019 to 2021 continued her master's studies at the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam. In her work, the artist seeks to build a connection between language, autobiography, and coding practices as an offset and resistance to the prevailing commercial development of digital space.

Miglė Vyčinaitė is a Lithuanian artist living and working in Copenhagen. In 2023, she graduated from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. In her creative work, the artist employs different media, such as video art, sculpture, sound, text, and installation. The dominant themes in Vyčinaitė's work are contemporary myth and story making, and magical materialism, among others. The artist develops speculative scenarios that intertwine with unorthodox stories.

Urtė Janus is a Lithuanian artist living and working in London. Janus is currently a part of Alexander McQueen's Sarabande Foundation residency program. She creates sculptural installations investigating the flow of time, and the interplay between human creations and the natural world. In her work, Janus employs slow chemical processes and lets the environment affect her creations.

Mykolas Valantinas is an interdisciplinary artist who works with photography, installation, and video art, researching sci-fi and memory-related themes. Inspired by the psychoanalytic method, the symbolism of the past and current cultures, and Lithuanian folk art, Valantinas works within the frame of documentaries and folk horror. This way, he challenges the dominant narrative and seeks to reveal the complexity of the human experience.