(AV17) gallery will present one of the most fascinating creators of conceptual sculpture in Lithuania Nerijus Erminas and his narrative installation Living Room. With the help of symbols and certain cultural references, the artist uses the installation to reveal a number of collective and individual experiences. Objects comprising the installation represent the attributes of the affluence associated with a certain time period, which are joined together with natural materials, such as tree branches, allowing the author to develop multiple meanings. Employing the attributes of affluence, the artist ironically reveals the surface-level, representative mundane reality of human beings, and at the same time – their natural origins which defy the material world. By combining natural materials, which represent the wilderness, with luxurious materials, which represent the communal urban culture, Nerijus Erminas identifies the point where defying one’s nature becomes impossible.
The artist’s works are characterised by sensitive transformation of reality into surreal and subconscious experiences. The narrative installations created by the artist transform easily recognisable elements of human life and everyday situations turning them in an unusual direction distant from the reality, while the viewer is caught in a never-ending play of meanings. Unstructured stories told in the work of Erminas are created by consistently studying situations seen as insignificant by the viewers. This creative strategy chosen by the artist as well as subjective approach encourages the viewers to notice things that would otherwise go unnoticed. Stories behind the work of Erminas take shape in the process of observing and analysing everyday rituals, interpreting both cultural and political context, history, religion, and expressing personal as well as collective experience.
Nerijus Erminas (1976) is a Lithuanian conceptual artist, graduated with master’s degree in sculpture from the Vilnius Academy of Arts. The artist has had over fourteen personal shows in Lithuania, and actively participates in group exhibitions in Denmark, Italy, Germany, Latvia, etc. He was awarded scholarship for creators of art and culture by Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania in 2012 and 2016. In 2010, Erminas won an award for the most prominent sculptural object in the Sculpture of the Year 2009 competition. Nerijus Erminas’s artworks were presented in the Lithuanian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2011. He was awarded a jury prize for the best presentation of sculpture Squirrel and Wall presented by (AV17) gallery at the contemporary art fair ArtVilnius’12. Erminas artworks are included in the permanent collection of MO museum in Vilnius, Lithuania.
The (AV17) gallery, established in 2011, is one of few Lithuanian galleries that exclusively exhibit contemporary object, sculpture and installation art. The gallery collaborates with well-known conceptual artists in Lithuania and abroad, while paying attention to introduce first works of young perspective artists. (AV17) also represents the works of Lithuanian artists abroad, thus helping them achieve recognition on the international arena.