Parafin will present London-based Lithuanian artist Indrė Šerpytytė (b.1983) in the Focus section of Frieze New York showing works from the recent 'Pedestal' series alongside the related audio work 'Toppled'.
'Pedestal' addresses a gulf between past and present by contrasting archival images of statues of Lenin and Stalin, once sited in grand public spaces in Lithuania, with their current existence in Lithuania’s Grūtas Park, a kitsch ‘nostalgia’ theme park. While elements of the composite images are congruent, suggesting continuity, there is a sharp contrast between the black and white archival photographs and the richly coloured contemporary images.
For 'Toppled' the artist employed a professional narrator specialising in film and television descriptions for the blind to interpret footage compiled by the artist of the dismantling of the kind of public monuments depicted in 'Pedestal' after the disintegration of the Soviet Union. The audio descriptions, presented without emotional inflection, often focus on unexpected or surreal details and provide an arresting counterpoint to the images of the statues.
Working primarily with photography, but also employing archives, sculpture, film, audio and choreography, the work of the Lithuanian artist Indrė Šerpytytė explores issues of history and trauma. Much of her work has addressed the recent past of Lithuania, in particular the years of the Second World War, the Cold War, the decades of Soviet control and the so-called ‘war after the war’. Yet despite dealing with very specific historical circumstances Šerpytytė achieves a remarkable openness in the work. Her themes are universal: the ways in which the past affects the present, the ways in which the political infuences the personal, the importance of memory. Šerpytytė states: ‘In my work I treat photography as an emotional expression rather than a documentation process. Through my images I attempt to reconstruct my inherited memory in the attempt to make the past more tangible. By rebuilding the inherited history I try to reclaim it.’