LIGHT.LT Auto -Portraits and -Landscapes | LIGHT.LT

Auto -Portraits and -Landscapes

This is my second long-term photographic project about a different Lithuania.

It used to be said that Lithuania was an agricultural country. Lithuania is often described as country of beer & basketball. But there is almost no public discourse about a very special phenomenon, the recent cult of CAR, that started to emerge since 1990.

Since the restitution of Lithuania’s Independence in 1990, the car has become an additional boost of personal freedom, a source of inspiration and risk, inseparable attribute for work and leisure.

Today, Lithuania is distinctive by its high number of cars per capita, by the scope of inter-continental business of used cars re-sale, by the scale of car servicing, sales of spare parts and other car-related businesses, that can hardly be noticed in neighboring countries.

Cars imported into Lithuania from all over Western / Southern / Nordic Europe and USA are in fast rotation. They can be sold to locals, to people from the Baltic states, Belarus, Poland, Russia or those from more remote lands, such as Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, etc. Imagine, that a car previously driven in Spain could end up living further in Kirghistan…

After the fall of communism, Lithuanians have swept away the outdated Soviet cars and replaced them with western-made vehicles. In the 1990s, the German cars were ruling the market and minds of people, with Audi & Volkswagen on the top charts of “the Lithuanian Dream”. The dream has been altering ever since. Beyond its function of utility, in the 2000s, the car has been perceived as one of most important personal attributes of self-expression and style.

The cult of car in Lithuania is so important that Lithuanian politicians during the two decades of Independence have not dared to introduce a car fee…

The first-time public presentation of this work is held in February-March 2011 in three exhibitions: Kaunas Photography gallery, open-air large-format poster show at Kaunas Car market and a “P.S.” exhibit at F Galerija.

Exhibition "Auto -portraits & -landscapes" by M.Kavaliauskas at Kaunas Photography gallery. 2011

Exhibition “Auto -portraits & -landscapes” by M.Kavaliauskas at Kaunas Photography gallery. 2011