It feels as though
I’m heading home
A site-specific audiovisual installation
created for Uzventis Museum
Duration - 20 minutes.
Up to 4 people can be inside at the same time.
The writer Marija Peckauskaite – Satrijos Ragana (Witch of Satrija) lived in Uzventis Manor between 1887-1898. Encouraged by a cultural activist Povilas Visinskis, she became interested in the ideas of national revival and began studying the Lithuanian language. The Uzventis Manor always remained a spiritual refuge for the writer – a home place often emerging in her literature, especially in the novella Sename Dvare (In the Old Manor).
Visitors to the art installation are welcome to step into the former beekeeper’s house that has remained since the days of Satrijos Ragana. The installation inside the beekeeper’s house is based on a less prominent legacy of the writer – 391 letters gathered together into a book Satrijos Ragana. Laiskai (Witch of Satrija. Letters). A rich epistolary legacy of Satrijos Ragana speaks about her vivid personality, household worries, artistic and spiritual explorations as well as the reflections on the temporality of life.
The music for the art installation was created using violin and cello, accompanied by electronics. It features pieces of concrete music together with the imitations of the natural sounds and household noises. In the visual part of the art installation, each sentence of the book Letters is turned into a digital dot. These dots either work or sleep, illuminate or vanish in the dark, expressing the ideas of the writer that flutter like bees forming a pattern and reminding of her life experiences.
A site-specific installation is designed for a former beekeeper's house, which symbolically becomes a hive of thoughts, vitality and memories. Technology such as screen integrated in the floor, speakers, wires, camera and other technical devices are intertwined with the natural environment, the smell of nature and patterned wall textures. It is a connection between the past and nowadays, a juxtaposition of the technological devices work and the tireless physical and mental work of man. The installation is like a hypnotic experience balancing between documentary and literary.
The audiovisual experience consists of computer-generated animation and music compositions with recorded excerpts from the most personal autobiographical texts - letters of Satrijos Ragana (Witch of Satrija) read by the residents of Uzventis and the creators of the installation.
The visual part of the installation - digitized book “Letters” - conveys 391 letters written between 1895-1930 years, that is, 12,074 sentences, 712,937 characters. The punctuation mark in the book is programmed at the end of the sentence into one white dot on the screen corresponding to one sentence - one the digitized thought of the writer, and the gray dot is a reference to the rest of the text of the book characters. The conversion of Satrijos Ragana's (Witch of Satrija) letters into symbols is also related to the writer’s aesthetics which is close to symbolism.
The visual part of the installation reveals the content of her letters, from one to several evolving thoughts that gradually take shape and content from light, from melancholy youth, loss, the reflections on the temporality of life to the inner maturity of her spirit , versatile personality, accumulated experience and expressed thoughts, dialogues.
The writer was attracted by the meditating state, the longing for eternity. “Life“ beyond ”is as real to me as it is here,” wrote Satrijos Ragana (Witch of Satrija). The dominant light in her texts emphasizes the glow of heaven and earthly beauty, and the memory of the dead, to her meant their return here. At the end of the video artwork, from a poetic gaze of her thoughts and a narrative of coded letters, we return to the union of digitized voices and digitized letters, left-to-right chronologically programmed 12,074 book sentences, returning to light (sign), between earthliness and spirituality, between fragility and eternity, between technicality and poeticism, between documentary and literary.
The art installation was created in collaboration with the people of Uzventis. Voices of the residents appear in the audio recording together with the voices of the creators.
Digital art excerpts from audiovisual installation:
Composer Andrius Siurys
Contemporary music artists Twenty Fingers Duo -
Violin played by Lora Kmieliauskaite
Cello by Arnas Kmieliauskas
Visual artist Lauryna Narkeviciute
Programmer Karolis Narkevicius
Dramatist Rimantas Ribaciauskas
IT developer Robertas Dumpis
Voice recordings done by the residents of Uzventis
Project author & producer House of Sorelle
Project partner Uzventis Museum
Project sponsors: Lithuanian Council for Culture, Kelme District Municipality, Lithuanian Composer‘s Union, Uzventis Eldership, Support Fund „Uzvenčio Pegasas“