Old Towns of Lithuania – exhibition of Romuladas Požerskis’ photography

Romualdas Požerskis (b. 1951 in Vilnius) is one of the best known Lithuanian photographers, famous for his incredible sensitivity in observing and documenting reality. He lives and works in Kaunas. Since 1993 he has been teaching the history and aesthetics of photography at Vytautas Magnus University. Požerskis has been a member of the Lithuanian Photographers Association since 1976.

Romualdas Požerskis works with large-scale projects, where each is a narration consistent in terms of aesthetics and documentary record. Themes picked up by Požerskis, their depth and the visual language of his documentary prose can be described as epic. Each of the extensive cycles he is famous for, has been photographed continuously for years and is meant to be an exhaustive tale about a given topic, but with a clear focus on humans. “Art is an ability to get close to human beings, and not an external effect or an uncontrolled expression of one’s self”, says Požerskis

In the series “Old Towns of Lithuania (1974-1982)”, the author has ambitiously strived to show the relations between people and cities and to keep the images in the genre of street photography,  a rare sight both in Lithuania of the time and the Soviet Union. With aesthetic precision, impressive abbreviation and highlighted geometry, Požerskis’ photos Focus on the topic: “The fact of a concrete life is more interesting to me than any eye-catching abstract composition”.   With incredible care and attention, Romualdas Požerskis captures in his black and white photographs the lives of ordinary people, the residents of old,  run-down districts in big, Lithuanian cities.

Romualdas Požerskis does not follow global visual culture. His photography is a sort of counterbalance for new photography aesthetics, dominated by  the “cool” documentary style, in which humans are no longer the focus but exist only as photographed objects. A special quality of  Požerskis’ work is the strong empathy he feels for his protagonists: children appearing in all his cycles (“Children’s Hospital, 1976-1982), older people in the series “Last Home” (1983-1990) or those who are less fortunate and are unjustly rejected by society (The Miseries and Joys of Little Alfonsas, 1992-2005). For this unique approach, Požerskis has been quickly recognised in the world, receiving many prestigious awards. In 1990, he won the Lithuanian National Culture and Art Award, the highest prize for cultural achievements in Lithuania. In 1994, he was named FIAP Artist (International Federation of Photographic Art in Switzerland). In 2004, Požerskis received the Alfred Topezer prize for his contribution to the fostering and preservation of Central and Eastern Europe’s cultural heritage.

The exhibition has been made possible courtesy of the artist, in cooperation with the Lithuanian Photographers Association.

27–30.06 | 10.00–20.00 | Workshops of Culture, Grodzka 5a – ground floor
The exhibition will be open until 31 July 2019