an artwork that draws on scientific modelling and a tool for pedagogy of identity formation

Transaction focuses on the search, development, and realization of a scripting process for an ongoing societal narrative that in the exhibition context charts relations between media, memory, politics, and traumatic identity within contemporary Lithuanian culture.

The Transaction project was provoked by an interview with the main psychiatrist of Lithuania published in a national magazine. Reflecting on the unease of the post-Soviet transition in the 1990s, the psychiatrist stated that Lithuania had adopted the attitude of a victim during this period. Following his proposal to deploy transactional analysis—a method of therapy that analyses a victim scenario with a view to transformative effect—the project addressed the national psyche’s historical traumas by staging encounters with psychiatrists and women intellectuals, in collaboration with the gender studies department of the Central European University and the women’s studies department at Vilnius University. The group discussed female role models in national mass media and compiled the references for their discussions in a system of exchanges. In this way, the project aimed at exploring the ways in which an artwork that draws on scientific modelling can render new tools for a pedagogy of identity formation.

Starting from the absence of female voices, Transaction consisted of a collection of interviews, voice listening sessions, and a film and voice archive assembled by the artists. Using the model of a “drama triangle” borrowed from psychoanalysis, the project was constructed in the form of a juxtaposition of three elements: an archive of films made between 1947 and 1997, a video with feminist intellectuals analyzing how Lithuanian films from the period scripted notions of femininity, a video of Lithuanian psychiatrists commenting on the “script” of the victim.

Transaction followed the model of a three-way dialog in a type of game format, tracing the movement between “what is no longer and what is not yet.” The project dealt with the difficulty of coping with a new reality in Lithuania, suggesting a methodology of collaboration and exchange between feminists, film institutions, and psychiatrists to analyze a current scenario. Navigating the gendered territory of dispatches, Transaction unfolds into a kind of “unpacking” of closed-off memories and voices.

Participants: Raimundas Alekna, Gražina Arlickaitė, Rūta Bačiulytė, Daiva Budraitytė, Aušrinė Burneikienė, Zita Čepaitė , Solveiga Daugirdaitė, Viktorija Daujotytė, Patricija Droblytė, Karina Firkavičiūtė, Jolanta Gelumbeckaitė, Rūta Goštautienė, Erika Grigoravičienė, Veronika Janatjeva, Margarita Jankauskaitė, Rasa Kalinauskaitė, Zita Kelmickaitė, Laima Kreivytė, Eglė Laumenskaitė, Dalia Marcinkevičienė, Raimundas Milašiūnas, Marija Aušrinė Pavilionienė, Živilė Pipinytė, Rima Praspaliauskienė, Birutė Purvaneckaitė, Giedrė Purvaneckienė, Dainius Pūras, Daiva Račiūnaitė, Ugnė Siparienė, Lolita Sutkaitienė, Daiva Šabasevičienė, Eugenijus Šarovas, Anelė Vosiliūtė, Marta Vosiliūtė,  Sonata Žalneravičiūtė, Audronė Žukauskaitė
Special thanks: Division of Image and Sound Documents at the Lithuanian Central State Archive

The Transaction project was commissioned in 2000 by the Kunstinstituut Melly (formerly known as Witte de With) Contemporary Art Center in Rotterdam for the Strangers and Paradise exhibition curated by Bartomeu Marí. It was further developed for the exhibition curated by Dóra Hegyi at the Ludwig Museum in Budapest (2001); an exhibition curated by Inka Schube at the Sprengel Museum Hannover (2002); and Documenta 11 curated by Okwui Enwezor (2002). It was presented at Manifesta 4 (2002), the MACBA Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (2008), and the International Center of Photography in New York (2008).
Transaction is in the permanent collection of National Gallery of Art, Lithuania.

mini DV, color, sound, English subtitles, 30 min. 2000
mini DV, color, sound, English subtitles, 23 min. 2002
TRANSACTION. FILM ARCHIVE / compilation as used at psychiatrists’ session
mini DV, B/W, sound, English subtitles, 27 min. / 2000
mini DV, color, sound, English subtitles, 27 min. / 2000