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Optimism: Traditional Modernism in Kaunas 1918-1940

exhibition opening, Thur. 26 May 2022, 8 p.m. In the presence of the Lithuanian ambassador to Israel, the curators, and the artists.

The exhibition Optimism presents an aspect of modernism seen through the prism of the Eastern European city of Kaunas between 1918-1940. Like Tel Aviv at that time, the modernist architecture of Kaunas reflected a momentum of self-definition and the propagation of optimistic ideals in the interwar period: years in which Kaunas was the temporary capital city of the Independent Republic of Lithuania. During this period over 10,000 buildings were erected in Kaunas, making it a modern European city. However, unlike the White City in Tel Aviv, modernism in Kaunas was evolutionary rather than revolutionary. The current exhibition presents a broad and varied modernist heritage, humanistic and eclectic in spirit, through historical research and works of art created to mark Kaunas’s designation as a 2022 European Capital of Culture. The exhibition layout, and the process through which it developed, echo the fundamental question facing town planners at that time: How can an optimistic architecture and vision create an urban identity and cultural narrative still felt today.
Curators: Marija Drėmaitė, Giedrė Jankevičiūtė, Vaidas Petrulis and Viltė Migonytė-Petrulienė
Artists: Martynas Timinskas, Patris Židelevičius, Arunas Periokas & Karolis Lasys, Malgorzata Maria Olchowska, Shay Zilberman, Rokas Mikšiūnas
Curation, design and production at Liebling Haus: Shira Levy Benyemini and Anat Levy

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