Ffotogallery open Borderliners on 16 February, which is an exciting exhibition featuring two outstanding Lithuanian photographers: Aleksandras Macijauskas (b.1938) and Rimaldas Vikšraitis (b.1954). Interestingly, Vikšraitis acknowledges Macijauskas as his teacher and a formative influence on his artistic career which makes this exhibition both insightful and personal as to the relationship between the two photographers. For both men, the social backdrop to their work is the decline of village life in Lithuania in the years leading up to and following the break-up of the Soviet Union.During the late 20th century, Macijauskas created the groundbreaking photographic series Rural Markets and developed a stylist form that combined social realism with early avant-garde principles. Vikšraitis pays attention to the detail in life that is often over looked as he works in and around the villages where he lives. Combining fear and humour, Vikšraitis is not a detached observer but an enthusiastic participant in the unruly situations depicted.
Although the subjects of the photographs are no longer present, the stories of suffering keep repeating themselves. The same tale reappears time and time again just with a different character with a different name. These images chronicle the fate of those who failed to adapt to the situation in the Soviet era and continue to struggle as part of the New Europe. It is impossible to avoid the reality of social and economic strife in these photos, but they also reflect the injustice and humanity of those who live on the edge of the modern world.
Aleksandras Macijauskas & Rimaldas Vikšraitis: Borderliners, 16 February – 23 March 2013, Ffotogallery, Turner House, Plymouth Rd, Penarth, CF64 3DH.
All images courtesy of the artist and Ffotogallery.
1. Rimaldas Viksraitis, The End of the Road, 1995.
2. Aleksandras Macijauskas, Rural Markets no. 319 Alytus, 1970.
3. Rimaldas Viksraitis, Slaughter, 1982.
4. Aleksandras Macijauskas, Rural Markets no. 196 Ukmergeç, 1974.