Ausrine Suratkeviciute at Household Belfast , 2018

By a chance this appeared in my inbox:

“Being: New Photography 2018,” the latest exhibition in the Museum of Modern Art’s ongoing for up-and-coming photographers. “Being” is a gripping survey of how photographers today are dealing head-on with the knotty things that make us, us—the ways communities, politics, and systems influence various people’s identities, for better and worse.

This is a different direction from the last “New Photography” show, 2015’s “Ocean of Images,” a mind-numbingly academic exploration of how pictures circulate, both on- and offline. A lot has changed since then. ”

Indeed. Even in Belfast.

While being part of the Household Project, I have got an insight on the history of the Sailortown, as well as about its’ people. My art pieces are connected to Sailortown’s people. I have taken several photographs around Sailortown and enlarged them to an A4 size. These photographs were later worked on using nail varnish remover that included acetone 0n cotton buds. I have tried to create a ghostly effect of the people, as if they were light shadows from the past. The movements of these figures were very free and natural. The first two photographs were enlarged in a KODAK photo shop, while the third one was printed in Ink Monkey. Because of the difference, the nail varnish worked differently on the photographs. The ink from photographs from KODAK, rubbed off very quickly, creating almost  a dissolved look. On the other hand, the ink on the photographs from Ink Monkey did not rub off that easily, therefore I had to use a little bit of force with cotton buds, in the end creating a more figure like silhouettes.
Ausrine Suratkeviciute


AUSRINE SURATKEVICIUTE  describes connection to history of people who do not exist in a place that still is where it used to be.   The process also enabled significant difference in the resulting image. The  figures in “Ink Monkey” print  (on the right above)  are alive, dancing.  Like the souls in Hieronymous Bosch.


Being  is defined by  gestures and moves, albeit virtual.  Association with painting breathes softly over the fluffiness of  grass next the  determined definition of hard, shiny, static  multi- coloured surface. This optical poetry somewhat disappears in direct viewing of photoprints  displayed in a gallery, on the wall.

I hail this young artist’s lyricism – so rare especially when connected to anthropological and anthropocentric subject. Yes, you can have social concern and be poetic about it… many 1920s  European artists were good at that.  I do not know whether  the link is known to her, for it is in her work as her invention.


The left image  (Kodak print) is so cruelly removed from the whole of the actual, particular,  place that it resumed  existence as utterly independent from it.  These details may be anywhere, anywhere where boats were repaired or built … the people now free to do  relax around the remnants as if on holidays, or on a lunch break.  Labour is burried under the remnants of the berth – people are lounging  as if freedom has been at last theirs.  Some, at the distant view became cutouts, as imprints in  a prehistoric cave… slightly funerary … or perhaps that may be a purgatory?  The grainy wet surrounding  is on this  Earth, but are they?


The lines of the bench imprison the seated adult and a child as time does all our yesterdays.  They cannot ever leave  – not that they wish to… look how relaxed both are.   The walking pair  froze as if wary of  making that fateful step into the imagined world.   And then – the artist takes away all of this imagined “truth”  by dry exact  faithfull appearance of the real place.  So hard is its clarity! No escape.

That contrast between the real and dreamed up seems to be the ground of the visual thought. Like Italo’s Impossible City  turn upside down… the city is real … the travellers are not.

These three images in spite of their apparent clarity and simplicity are opened to  free thought,  if you are inclined to think about humanity, like Bosch did,inter alia.


Images courtesy the artist.

H Bosch accessed online.

About Slavka Sverakova

writer on art
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