Streams upstream | OSTRALE contemporary art exhibition

05.10.2022 – 13.11.2022 Kaunas Central Post Office


The OSTRALE Biennale in Dresden is one of the largest contemporary art exhibitions in Germany, with 138 artists representing 34 nations (including Lithuania) in 2021. Artists from all over the world, including members of the international curatorial jury from partner institutions in Croatia, Lithuania and Hungary, submitted the works to the Biennale in an open competition.

The organisers of the Biennale aim to present the interdisciplinary content of their exhibitions not only in Germany, but also in various parts of Europe, and therefore organise travelling exhibitions. In cooperation with the European Capitals of Culture, in 2022 artworks from the OSTRALE Biennale are presented in Lithuania.

The OSTRALE Centre for Contemporary Art organises exhibitions in non-traditional spaces, initially designed for purposes other than art. The transformation of these spaces gives an opportunity for new contexts. The history of the building and its past influences the experience of the visitors and creates associations and references that complement the artworks. In 2021, the OSTRALE Biennale O21 BREATHTURN was held in the robotron-Kantine, the former canteen building of an East German electronics company in Dresden. A selection of works from this exhibition is now being displayed in Kaunas Central Post Office.

"Streams upstream" is the final OUT of OSTRALE event, completing the series of European cultural cooperation project "Flowing connections".

The themes of constant movement, migration of animals and humans, their encounter with challenges and each other are interpreted by the exhibition artists. Each artist's perspective depends on the political and economic reality one comes from. This is an exhibition about globality and all the nowness, unfulfillments and subtexts of this multi-layered phenomenon.

Packages, letters or postcards that once found their way from senders to recipients in the mail distribution rooms and followed their own trajectories, sometimes reached their addressees and sometimes disappeared. The viewer can search for a message that is meant only for them, a message secretly transmitted by a stranger, encoded in the language of art, and at the same time feel how the walls of the Kaunas Central Post Office are covered with the passage of time, and open for a BREATHTURN.

Curator: Patricija Gilytė
Architect: Sigita Kundrotaitė-Savickė
Curatorial team of the OSTRALE Biennale O21: Nataša Bodrožić, Ivana Meštrov, Patricija Gilytė, Krisztián Kukla, Andrea Hilger, Antka Hofmann.

Exhibiting artists: Gabrielė Gervickaitė, Zsolt Ferenczy, Volker Kreidler, Seçkin Aydin, Nikita Kadan, Firoz Mahmud, Predrag Pavić, Gabriele Engelhardt, Jana Richenbachová, Sarvenaz Mostofey, Farid Rasulov, Goran Škofić, Ivan Milenković, Philipp A. Schäfer, Daina Vanagaitė-Belžakienė, Toni Meštrović, Daniel Chong, Bronė Sofija Gideikaitė, Eszter Szabó, Michael Grudziecki.

Exhibiting AIR artists: Gabrielė Gervickaitė, Anna Fabricius, KOLXOZ collective.

Partners: Kaunas 2022 (Lithuania), OSTRALE – Centre for Contemporary Art (Germany), Slobodne Veze (Croatia), Art Quarter Budapest (Hungary).
Sponsors: Kaunas 2022, Lithuanian Council for Culture, the exhibition is part of the Flowing Connections cooperation project, co-funded by the Creative Europe program of the European Union.
Producer: VšĮ „Ars futuri".

About the "Flowing Connections" project
Connecting four cities with a close relation to water and building bridges between two ECOC cities among them – Dresden in Germany by the river Elbe, Budapest in Hungary by the river Danube, Rijeka (ECOC 2020) in Croatia on the coast of the Adriatic, and Kaunas (ECOC 2022) in Lithuania by the Nemunas and Neris rivers – the project Flowing Connections (FLOC) explores the artistic, ecological and cultural questions of waterside living, the rivers and seas that nourish and threaten our cities in equal measure, divide and unite people, nationalities and landscapes, and our caring or abusive relationships with them.