Lietuvos Energija (Energy Lithuania)

Deimantas Narkevicius

Utena, Lithuania, 1964
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  • Media description: 
    Super 8 film transferred to video
  • Duration: 
    17 min.
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  • Sound: 
    Stereo sound
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The work of Deimantas Narkevicius is part of the return to the great ideologies of the 20th century at the moment of their collapse. Through critical engagement with cinema and its narratives of attempted veracity, he analyses the fall of Communism’s revolutionary utopia in Eastern Europe at a time when the ruins of the past and the uncertainty of the future overlap. The Lithuanian artist focuses on a perception of history often associated with the idea of post-history, as meta-narrative, but also identifying the existential inter-connection between the subjects of that meta-narrative, the main characters of his films, and a specific social and economic context. “Communism - Lenin said - is Soviet power plus electrification.” This concept of modernisation, linked to industrialisation, is the theme of Lietuvos Energija (Energy Lithuania), a documentary study of a power plant, which includes dialogue with ex-workers from the factory. Although the plant is still working, after the collapse of the Soviet Union it became a kind of museum of industrial thought and ideology. The work appears to be a reflection on the Communist experience in Lithuania as a province of the USSR, but it goes much further than that, bringing in the idea of monument, of failure, of melancholy about the past in the present and the obsolescence of the object and ideas. In order to reflect these relationships, the artist overlaps various film techniques and narrative processes.

Cristina Cámara Bello