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The Memory Of Water

The Memory of Water project is a collaboration between multidisciplinary artist-body painter Vilija Vitkute and choreographer, writer - Małgorzata Suś. Dedicated to oceans and marine life on our planet, it was created in order to bring attention to climate crisis and necessity of water life protection.

Project timeline 2019-2025

The project started in September 2019. The first creative residency took place in Lithuania - Nida Art Colony. In 2020 Vilija Vitkute (visual artist/body painter) and Małgorzata Suś (dancer/choreographer) founded The Memory of Water Productions, a non-profit organization that connects various art disciplines with works for the protection of water and marine life. It gathers professional artists, scientists, and activists, and brings them together to create performances, films, photography, and audiovisual installations.

At the beginning, the goal of the project was to create a big-scale dance & body painting performance that speaks about water and raises awareness about the climate crisis. It was meant to be presented in the frame of the European Culture Capital event in Lithuania in 2020, but because of the pandemic and financial crisis the project was canceled. 

Instead of giving up on the project, we decided to focus on alternative ways of complementing it. In September 2020 we had a residency in Lofoten, Norway, and created a series of photography and short films. In September 2021 and 2023 the project team traveled to Iceland, where we focused on making an art film and photography collection. In May 2022 we went to Gotland to create another, shorter art film, dedicated to the Baltic Sea. The photos have been already presented in exhibitions, and the art films are still in post-production. Moreover, in July 2021 at the World Bodypainting Festival in Klagenfurt, we presented a performance/installation at the exhibition of Vilija’s Vitkute artworks created for The Memory of Water.

In October 2021 the same exhibition and performance were shown in Tjörn, Sweden, as part of Avtryck Festival. In total, the project involved 15 international artists, representing various disciplines such as film, photography, bodypainting, dance, sound, documentary, and costume design. We collaborated with environmental activists, such as Magdalena Gschnitzer, Kirsten Åkerman, and Elisabeth Lund, and organizations like Folkeaksjonen Oljefritt Lofoten, Vesterålen of Senja and Hopespot Gotland.

Today, after 4 years of developing the project, we wish to deliver the final result - The Memory Of Water exhibition and performance. We decided to present it in smaller performance and the exhibition format because of the visual character of the project, and collaborate with a large gallery space where the artworks can stay for a long time and be seen by a bigger audience. We plan to present all that we have created in the past 4 years: a series of photography, dance/art films created in Iceland, Gotland, and Norway, behind-the-scenes documentary, paper costumes/art installations, and a live bodypainting & dance performance for the vernissage opening event. Our exhibition will bring the audience on a water journey and address topics such as climate crisis, bleaching corals, the condition of marine animals, melting ice, the uniqueness of the Arctic nature, the endangered Baltic Sea environment, and human loss of connection to nature. The aim is to bring hope and inspire change.

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