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Video art by Henrikas Gulbinas

Meno Avilys

Installation of early video art works by Henrikas Gulbinas
March 10 - May 20 on weekdays from 4 to 7 PM @ Planeta (Gostauto str. 2, Vilnius)
Although abstract works of Henrikas Gulbinas, created by manual image generation, nowadays remind us of psychedelic paintings, the author himself finds these references alien. The style of one of the Lithuanian video art pioneers was formed neither by ideology nor by imagination but by the image generation technologies of the 90s and the expressive outlets that they provided. First collection of Gulbinas’ video art creations, Unimagined Things (Nesugalvoti dalykai), was based on editions of bright recordings of a TV, filmed by merging the TV signal with a VCR to produce a stream-of-images effect. Later on, he added different lightings, glass, stencils, and other environmental details to these colourful abstractions. Music was always a big part of the creative process for the Unimagined Things. “Whatever I’d listen to, I’d try to imagine and visualise it,” says Gulbinas. “This hobby of mine encouraged experimentation (...) I’d film something and add musical background to the image, trying to synthesise sound and image.” The technological principle of creating plot‑less video compositions was also the origin of their name: it was provoked by Gulbinas’ conversations with friends: “Someone may have said: ‘Hey, but it isn’t like you imagined these things yourself;’ well, yes, yes—I didn’t.” Today, Gulbinas’ independent analog experiments are not only one of the reference points in the Lithuanian video art history but also a lyrical documentation of the late-90s technological and musical background.
Unimagined Things 1 (Nesugalvoti dalykai 1) 6'05 /1988
Unimagined Things 2 (Nesugalvoti dalykai 2) 3' / 1988
A Journey without a Suitcase (Kelione be lagamino) 9'38 / 1988
Twice (Du kartus) 5'45 / 1988
Henrikas Gulbinas (born 1960, Kaunas) is a video artist, documentary film maker, music connoisseur, and one of the Lithuanian video art pioneers. In the 90s, Gulbinas was an audio and video equipment reseller and had bought his first video camera already back in 1985. By experimenting with domestic VCRs and exploring the expressive outlets offered by the analog video signal and editing, as well as the relationship between sound and image, he created his first collection of video art, Unimagined Things (Nesugalvoti dalykai). In 1988, it was shown in the Meetings (Susitikimai) exhibition in the Klaipeda Exhibition Hall alongside the sculptures of Klaudijus Stepanovas and graphic works of Romas Klimavicius. It was one of the first exhibitions to feature works of early Lithuanian video art. Later on, Gulbinas would often be invited to present his creative method of “videogeneration”—as he calls it—and his works in international experimental cinema festivals in, among other places, Leningrad, Paris, and Hamburg. Encouraged by his encounters with Parisian Lithuanian exile artists, including Antanas Moncys, Gulbinas turned to documentary film making, which he is doing to this day.
Cinema and media space Planeta is based in the Hall II of the former cinema of the same name. The new urban culture meeting point houses three institutions: Skalvija, Vaikų Zeme, and Meno Avilys. The multifunctional space is adapted for educational activities, cinema screenings, and conferences. A public media library has been operating here since late 2019.