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Zilvinas Kempinas

11.17.15 _ 01.09.16

Bearings, 2015

Galeria Leme presents the third solo exhibition by the New York- based Lithuanian artist Zilvinas Kempinas.

Verticals is an installation of unspooled VHS tape, constituting the entire gallery space, evenly dividing and filling it symmetrically. It is a controlled environment, defined by uniformity and monotonous order. Despite its geometry, Verticals sustains a kinetic character and occasionally is animated by natural air circulation in the gallery or by vortexes of air caused by passing visitors. Once the air calms down, the piece comes back to its original stance.

The strips of magnetic tape are suspended above the gallery floor at the same distance; they do not extend all the way to the ceiling, but “stop” at the same height evenly. Their ultra thin edges are facing the same direction. Vertical black pieces of magnetic tape represent elements of time. Barely there, they occasionally disappear out of sight completely, depending on a viewer’s position in the gallery’s space.

This subdued visual gesture is not provoking visitors to take “selfies”, but rather inviting people to feel oneself in the physical space. Despite looking fragile and dispersed, these identical vertical objects dominate the space in unison, becoming a singular monumental body against concrete walls of the gallery.

In the middle of the floor there is a black shallow box-like object with its surface exposed to the viewers. There are thousands of small steel bearings laid down in oil on its surface. At first they are perceived as one solid formation, but from closer inspection, one may notice an occasional movement here and there – the bearings are slowly moving, one by one, rearranging and re-positioning themselves into an infinite “drawing in progress”.

It is a kinetic sculpture, capable of regenerating itself every time, creating new shapes out of solid metal. The final result (form) is not an objective here, but instead the very process of “becoming”, the act of change and the beauty of chance are at the core of the piece.

About the artist:

Zilvinas Kempinas. Born in Lithuania in 1969. Lives and works in New York.

Zilvinas Kempinas has had numerous solo exhibitions internationally, including Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Kunsthalle Wien; Museum Tinguely, Basel, Switzerland; The Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow; BALTIC Center for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK; P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York; Socrates Sculpture Park, New York; Kunsthalle Budapest; Vilnius Contemporary Art Center; Reykjavik Art Museum; Spencer Brownstone gallery, New York; galerie Yvon Lambert, Paris and New York; galerija Vartai, Vilnius. His work has also been seen in important group exhibitions including ‘On Line: Drawing Through the Twentieth Century’, MoMA, New York; “Dynamo”, Grand Palais National Galleries, Paris; Yokohama Triennale, Japan; Liverpool Biennale, UK; Transmediale.10, Hause der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; Manifesta 7, Bolzano, Italy. In 2009, the artist represented Lithuania at the 53rd Venice Biennial.