Kamilė Jadevičiūtė

FOSSILS OF THE FUTURE

17 02 2021 – 06 03 2021

The topic of the Anthropocene has been discussed restlessly in the cultural and scientific milieu for the last several years. It is proposed to single out a new geological epoch, in which man is at the centre of attention. Proponents of the Anthropocene idea argue that human activity is like a geological force that influences cycles of the Earth and leaves a mark on its stratigraphic layers.

An exhibition titled “Fossils of the Future” by the young artist Kamilė Jadevičiūtė was inspired by these discussions and interpreted through the prism of lithography. Kamilė Jadevičiūtė is one of the few graphic artists in Lithuania who has been conceptually using a rare and complex technique of lithography in her work. Lithography (Greek: lithos – stone + grapho – write) is a printing technique when the printing is made from limestone – sedimentary rock formed hundreds of millions of years ago after the deposition of carbonate sludge or remnants of calcite skeletons of microorganisms.

The exhibition consists of two series of lithographs titled “Fossils of the Future” and “Plastiglomerate” (2017-2018). Both of them use lithographic techniques to talk about human impact on the Earth’s surface and to draw a parallel between a print and fossils. Fossils (Latin: fossilis – dug up) are seen here as a medium of the Earth, or a record. An original, a copy, a print – these are concepts that connect fossils and graphics.
By mineralization (conversion of organic matter into non-organic – mineral matter), fossils are formed from organic animal and plant residues, with the action of bacteria. A fossil thus obtained is an original petrified part of a body. By substitution, organic substances gradually disintegrate and are replaced by rock minerals, so the resulting fossil is an exact stone model / copy of the original. An imprint of its shape is formed around such a fossil. A fossil made this way is as if a cast of its own form.

Broken and therefore defective lithographic stones were used to create the series “Fossils of the Future”. Crumbled, irregularly shaped lithographic stones are reminiscent of their geological origin by their natural materiality. Limestone used for lithography is particularly fine-grained, which means that very well-preserved fossils are found during excavation.

The series “Plastiglomerate” started while walking on the seaside in Nida and collecting small objects. Brightly coloured debris and other objects dipped in the sand caught the artist’s eye. Plastics, sea cords, pebbles, polished pieces of wood – these finds became the inspiration for the work. The objects caught the eye with their deceptive looks. Objects found in nature are assimilated, transformed, and the boundary between culture and nature disappears. A bottle cap resembles a stone, a string looks like a twig of a tree. The title of the series was borrowed from the term ‘plastiglomerate’ proposed by Patricia Corcoran, Charles J. Moore and Kelly Jazvac. Plastiglomerate is the rock of the Anthropocene: a conglomerate of plastic alloy with sand, stones and shells.

The show is complemented by an exhibit kindly lent by the Museum of Geology of Vilnius University – a piece of sandstone with ripple marks (waves). This sandstone formed as river sediments (sand) 1.4 billion to 1.3 billion years ago. The petrified waves made by water remind us that the world existed before us – and it will exist after us.

The prints were created during the Bachelor’s studies at the Vilnius Art Academy (lecturer Prof Kęstutis Vasiliūnas). The author of the exhibition, Kamilė Jadevičiūtė, is currently continuing her studies at the Master’s level in graphic art (lecturer Assoc Prof Marija Marcelionytė-Paliukė).

The author and the gallery would like to thank the Museum of Geology of Vilnius University and Dr Eugenija Rudnickaitė for the loaned exhibit.

The exhibition is made possible with the support of the Culture Ministry of Lithuania, Lithuanian Council for Culture and Lithuanian Artists’ Association.