Kaunas: (Im)possibility of a Monument

We would like to present to you a series of photographs documenting the 11th edition of Kaunas Biennale that took place during autumn 2017. Being the second-largest city in Lithuania, though perhaps not the most renowned of them all, Kaunas is another City of Design under UNESCO, the first of its kind in Central and Eastern European countries, boasting distinctive Lithuanian style of modernist and brutalist architectures, over 60 museums and galleries accompanied by a significant amount of cultural facilities and institutions. The Biennale dealt with memories and conflicts from the city’s ancient past that dates back centuries, meanwhile the curation centred its attention on the ideology and vulnerability of symbolic public monuments, in addition to their complex relationship with people today.

Guaranteed to stumble upon numerous Art Deco and Romantic-style buildings among the city, they act as a reminder to Kaunas’ complicated history as well as inspirations to modern-day travellers. Keeping its prevalent café culture alive, the city has also witnessed a thriving growth in the creative talents serving in the gastronomy industry, drawing influences from its Nordic and continental European neighbours, so far the end result is beyond spectacular. Picked as a European Capital of Culture for 2022, one can only look forward to greater things arriving in the city.

 

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Words & Photography: Axel Wang


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