The strong aesthetic photographic language of the series leads one towards understanding of the proposed formulas of happiness in Lithuania through archetypes, symbols and metaphors. The consciously constructed image, centered composition solutions and direct confrontation with the subject paradoxically create the impression of an encounter with an irrefutable fact. The fact that what we see in Mindaugas Azusilis’s project is the Bible of Lithuanian happiness. Yet this collection of images rather than texts is more of a rejection of what we understand as a happy life today, having lost awareness of reality. Our shallow attitude towards everything around us often seamlessly masks our everyday anxiety, yet the “happinesses” that the young artist’s photographs capture reveal themselves in all their naked material beauty here.
The need for happiness is very individual, yet here and now I feel tempted to address the feeling of being coerced, the duty to be happy. And although the need for happiness is programmed in each of us, the society and its value orientations inevitably influence its form and intensity. In the age of the construction and satisfaction of desires, the fear of being unhappy is probably the biggest obstacle to feeling happy, while the antonym of happiness has become the synonym of abnormality.
Happiness in Lithuania is a photographic typology of happiness, which lays bare banality, vanity, and the fact that we are content with the mere outward image of happiness. Although it contains a hint of irony, this project goes beyond national borders and calls for supporting the politics associated with the ethics of unwillingness. Paraphrased and recontextualised, the famous Frenchman Stéphane Hessel’s phrase “to create is to resist, to resist is to create” seems to inform the paradoxical determination to resist the imposed concept of happiness, which is precisely the essence of Mindaugas Azusilis’s work.
— Egle Deltuvaite
With the rough-and-tumble beauty (and unexpected joy) of a flea market find, the bodies and faces of these hitchhikers offer us a visual storybook of their intense, unique lives. Not only are these nomads interesting in their own right—they also represent a wonderful family of strangers, a tightly knit group forged by the bonds of travel.
This exhibition showcases a different Africa: a continent that still defies the imagination, where creativity can bring prosperity. Haute Africa shows how clothing culture conveys and renews African identity.
In Albania, the centuries-old tradition of blood vengeance has seen a renewal over the past decade—this series explores the dire consequences of these vicious and implacable family feuds.
1st place, Documentary, LensCulture Earth Awards:
A worldwide obsession with high fashion sustains an entire industry built on animal sacrifice. The beautiful end-product is remorseless—it obscures the violent killing of countless animals, who spend their lives within the walls of intensive breeding facilities.