the periglacial world
In Lithuania rocks bear various names. Many places
include the word akmuo. They became inseparable from the
life of Lithuanians. In the North-West of the country where they
are very numerous, people are accustomed to saying that they "grow"
there. The farmers gather them each year and use them for marking
the limits of their fields. There have always been stone fields
around the village of Mosédis. They were deposited
there by the glaciers of the Gulf of Finland and the Gulf of
Bothnia. For hundreds of years, these stone fields remained intact.
But during collectivisation things changed. More than one and a
half million cubic meters of stones and rocks were taken from the
collective farms in the surroundings between 1975 and 1985. They
were used to build the quays of Klaipéda as well as street
Mosésis Park. Photo MTP
The celebration of the stones in Mosédis
coincides with the arrival on the spot of a young doctor by the
name of Vaclovas Intas. From 1957, he started to choose and
collect the rocks that seemed most remarkable to him by moving them
in the yard of the hospital, a kind of mania that soon caught the
entire city. It was after the great fire that devastated a large
number of houses in 1962 that Intas had the idea of creating a park
of memory to celebrate the famous personalities of the region and
to call upon landscape gardeners and geologists who worked in
particular on the glacial period.
It was finally in 1979 that an open air museum was
inaugurated, which comprises today more than 150000 stones and
rocks that go from a few grams to a few tens of tons and more than
5000 species of plants.
The park of Orvydai is called by the authorities
the park of ethno-cultural visions. Created by Vilius
Orvydas, it is indeed a world in itself, like a kind of oneiric
apparition in the middle of an empty landscape, where Eden
communicates with Egypt, and where some monsters, comparable to
those of Bomarzo, border dead trunks, carved crosses and
deserted ponds, while the family of the sculptor, always on the
spot, lives there in a maze whose secret it alone knows. One can
really speak about a sacred space, all the more authentic since it
does not result from a literary or approach but from a personal
vision. Rough art under the open sky.
Orvydai Park. Photos MTP
the geographical centre of europe
The Park of Europe was founded in 1991 at the
initiative of the sculptor Gintaras Karosas, when he had not
yet finished art school. The idea was simple, even if it frightened
a little the artistic authorities of the time: to bring to the
geographical centre of Europe (according to the French Institute of
Geography in 1989) a collection of contemporary sculptures in open
air, thus connecting a natural space to other mental spaces of the
whole world. A central sculpture indicates, like a belvedere, the
direction and the distance from the principal European capitals. It
is indeed a collection, but the creators all visited the place.
They chose courses, perspectives. They wanted to tell a story. They
sometimes decided to resort to sounds propagated among the trees
and to amplify them, or even to create resounding sculptures.
Collection, certainly, but collection of proposals that made of
this park in the large suburbs of Vilnius a contemporary space,
comparable to a certain extent to the Desert of Retz.
It is a route in itself that must be discovered,
after having crossed at the entrance the greatest accumulation of
television sets in the world. A manner of leaving the world of
globalisation before penetrating that of imagination. A route that
was built by means of true artistic collaboration, each work
requiring a particular ordering of materials, an work of space
alteration, a construction both mental and physical: from the seat
of Dennis Oppenheim to the giant eggs of Magdalena
Abakanowicz, from the pyramid of Sol LeWitt to the Bird
of Europe by Zsigmond Szoradi.
Europos Parkas. Sol LeWitt, double negative
pyramid. Photo MTP
Drinking structure with exposed kidney pool.
Europos Parkas. John Barlow Hudson. Claud
hands. Photo MTP
A widened European approach that restores to a
geographical centre a history of art become perfectly
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