Jonas Rimša's paintings in public and private art collections: exotica or an inconvenient heritage?

Collection:
Mokslo publikacijos / Scientific publications
Document Type:
Straipsnis / Article
Language:
Anglų kalba / English
Title:
Jonas Rimša's paintings in public and private art collections: exotica or an inconvenient heritage?
Alternative Title:
Jono Rimšos tapyba valstybinėse ir privačiose kolekcijose: egzotika ar nepatogus paveldas?
In the Journal:
Meno istorijos studijos [Art history studies]. 2021, t. 9, p. 71-106. Nepatogus paveldas = Uncomfortable heritage
Keywords:
LT
Jonas Rimša; Argentina; Bolivija (Bolivia); Lietuva (Lithuania); Tapyba / Painting; Menininkai. Menotyrininkai / Artists. Art critics.
Summary / Abstract:

LTStraipsnyje, pasitelkus Lietuvos menotyroje kol kas retai naudojamas indigenizmo ir primityvizmo sąvokas, naujai, iš pokolonijinės perspektyvos interpretuojami Argentinoje ir Bolivijoje kūrusio lietuvių menininko Jono Rimšos (1903–1978) darbai, atskleidžiamas jo kūrybos perversiškumas. Išryškinama, jog gyvendamas Bolivijoje Rimša aktyviai dalyvavo įtvirtinant indigenizmą kaip nacionalinį stilių, atliekantį politinius tautos tapatybės kūrimo ir nacijos vienijimo tikslus. Kartu Rimšos kūryba parodoma kaip indigenų romantizavimo ir mitologizavimo praktika, neigusi jų subjektiškumą ir kultūrinį, socialinį bei politinį svorį valstybės gyvenime. Skirtingai nei kitų Bolivijos ir apskritai Pietų Amerikos indigenistų atveju toks menininko pasirinkimas siejamas ne tiek su egzotizuojančiu žvilgsniu į „indėnus“, kiek su atsivežta specifine gyvenimo Rytų Europoje patirtimi, antikomunistinėm nuostatom ir siekiu atsiriboti nuo Meksikos muralistų. Šiame kontekste Rimšos meninis palikimas konceptualizuojamas kaip nepatogus paveldas, kuriame užkoduota įtampa tarp „savo“ ir „svetimo“ žvilgsnio, tarp nacionalizmo ir kolonializmo, tarp reprezentacijos ir apropriacijos. [Iš leidinio]

ENThe exhibition "Aboriginal and Papuan Art", presented to the Latvian audience in 2016, was conceived and curated by neighbouring Lithuania as an introduction to Australian and Oceanian indigenous art. A peculiar collection of “primitive art” owned by the Lithuanian National Museum of Art was alluded to and compared with “the prized collections of the former colonial empires”. Whilst remarkably versatile, the collection lays bare the complexities and sensitivities inherent in presenting and discussing such artwork. With the inception of the 21st century, the perceptions of colonial objects of former imperialist countries shifted towards the formulation of an inconvenient heritage concept, recasting and reshaping the discourse in new terms as part of the process of reflection. France, the Netherlands, Great Britain and other former colonial powers concurred that colonial art held by European museums is a product of imperialist power and coercion. Extracted from their natural sociocultural environment, artefacts hailing from Oceania, Asia, Central and South America have been deprived of their distinct, meaningful value. Critical reflection on the presentation of art has highlighted its potential to entrench a Eurocentric mindset and construction models. In response to these developments, some countries returned the artifacts to their original owners. Others are altering their presentation and exhibition models by expanding the contextual narrative accompanying artwork and inviting non-European artists to collaborate with museums and respond to their ethnographic collections. Alternatively, art objects are redefined and recast in relevant terms, seeking to foster discussions about climate change and sustainable development.Whilst Lithuania did not have overseas colonies like other European countries, this is not to say that the country has not been affected by or precluded from developing a colonial mindset; such a mindset was reflected in various exhibitions in the presentation of the artwork of Jonas Rimša (Juan Rimça, Ivan Rimsa, 1903–1978), a Lithuanian artist who lived and worked in South America. The communication track record surrounding his shows gave contours and created resilient pathways for the colonial mindset to take root in society. This article aims to identify new perspectives and angles in the analysis of Rimša’s paintings. As I will argue, his artwork is discerningly an inconvenient heritage due to the coded tensions inherent in his work between “us” and “them”, nationalism and colonialism, and representation and appropriation. His artwork raises important questions and forces us to reflect on the image of South America in the Baltic States, as well as reveals certain aspects of Lithuanian culture. Keywords: South American art, Argentina, Bolivia, Modernism, Indigenism, Primitivism, Jonas Rimša, exhibitions, Lithuanian reception, migration of artists and artworks. [Extract, p. 71-74]

ISSN:
2783-6193
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Permalink:
https://www.lituanistika.lt/content/102381
Updated:
2023-07-17 18:36:07
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