I organized the highly successful Hope and Spirit project, which took place at the Balzekas Museum in 2011-12. This was to mark the 70 year anniversary of the mass deportations from the Baltic republics to Siberia by Stalin, and to commemorate the victims of these atrocities. Four of my blood relatives died during NKVD interrogations, and eight were deported to Siberia.
The primary purpose of this project was to inform the general public of these events and the deaths of 20 million innocent people. If history is forgotten, it will repeat itself. With the recent events in Ukraine, it appears that my concerns were prophetic. History is repeating itself.
It is due to my efforts that over 400 letters and photographs sent from Siberia have been found and saved from oblivion, and the tragic family stories revealed.
In this exhibit of seven diptychs, I incorporate these photographs and letters. If we remember departed individuals, in a sense they remain immortal. Memories are stored in neural networks in our brains. I incorporate the photographic images under layers of my own neural networks, brain scan images, and brain wave tracings.
Several of these diptychs focus on individual families, including my own relatives and those of the famed author Ruta Sepetys.
The light sculptures use LED light systems. Each diptych consists of a steady white light, and the other with color changing lights. This diptych structure parallels our own brain functioning, where the left hemisphere is analytical, black and white, and the right hemisphere creative, colorful.
The images were printed on three layers of polycarbonate to parallel the three layers of our own thought processes: conscious, subconscious, and unconscious.
Siberia Souls, an art exhibit of light sculptures
Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture
6500 S. Pulaski Rd.
March 27 to June 30, 2015
Opening reception 7 to 9 PM, Friday, March 27
NOW EXTENDED TO JUNE 7, 2017