Project 1808. Quarantine
AP Gallery, Vilnius 2021 03 16 - 04 11
Kaunas County Public Library 27 April 2021 - 27
Tauragė Region Museum Santaka, outdoor exhibition space 15 07 07 - 09 09 2021
In his latest series of works, Andrius Repsys has addressed the issue of corona virus and how it impacts people in their daily lives.
As in the previous series of his works, the photographer poses problems by combining geographical spaces and their specificity with the viewer through legible symbolic meanings revealing the details of each geographical location. Only this time, the series, capturing the central squares of cities, has started since the beginning of quarantine in Lithuania. The name of the project refers to the coronavirus hotline currently operating in Lithuania: 1808. This is why all the drone photographs have been being taken at the same time- 18:08 (6:08 p.m.). Taken from above, the architectural compositions start to resemble the rhythm and lay out of abstract figures, from time to time, interrupted by such signs as cars, rubbish bins, or telegraph poles left by people. This cardinal change in our usual daily lives symbolizes not only the temporality of each and every of us, but also the state of loneliness and exclusion we are experiencing today. On the other hand, rare images of passers-by can be seen in the photographs captured by the artist, which only adds to the feeling of emptiness by scaling spaces and enhancing the impression of a lone person. At the same time, the inner worlds of people are being questioned. Have our home become our prisons? Do we remain honest with our fears or pretend not being in danger? And finally, are we aware how we should live in our communities while being alone?
Our values and attitudes are changing as we undergo fundamental changes in nature and around the world. In addition to the most prestigious professions, such as medics, the police, or firefighting industries, we understand how couriers, cashiers, farmers, or retailers become even more important to us today. In other words, during the global crisis, those particularly bright changes appearing in the photos, that fill the empty spaces, are occurring. They lead to even greater rapprochement with the world around us and ourselves. Andrius Repsys‘ series “Quarantine 1808“ has not been only documenting the historical event, but has also been exploring topics related closely to this period. We seem to realize that there is no doubt that the world will change after the virus, but, it seems, the artist is asking us “How?” and we will answer it ourselves one day.