METALLOphone: Personally (2014)

Second International Biennial of Contemporary Metal Art

Metal comes into being through all four basic elements – fire, water, air and earth. Therefore it cannot but inspire thoughts of something archaic. Something primordial. Something essential which comes into being here and now. A person, who wields metal, i. e. blacksmith, is assigned nearly demiurgic qualities in the Baltic mythology – he possesses capacity to forge human being anew or to restore one’s youth. The mastering of the blacksmith’s craft and knowledge resembles initiation, a “second birth”. All what is related to metal is far from simple. Neither in the simplest physical and technical, nor in mythical, historical, and aesthetical aspects. Metal dictates to creator and he either resists or surrenders. Metal brings challenges. Metal tells stories. Those who work with metal and create of it chose metal with (hopefully) certain purpose. Metal makes background for their lives.

And therefore we need “METALLOphone” (lit. Metal background) – the second biennial of contemporary metal arts in Lithuania. So that metal would become a background not only for the authors but also for the location.

This biennial invites authors to share their stories told by metal. This “METALLOphone” is personal.

Metal often speaks for itself – it glitters in silvery white, fascinates with rich rust color, and urges to touch it or repulses. Yet this time 50 artists from Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, the USA, Colombia, Poland, Sweden, Greece, Australia, Spain, the Netherlands, Israel, Germany, Italy, South Korea, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Argentina, and Japan tell their metal stories. The works of art are very diverse in style, in selection of materials and their concord, in techniques, and in presentation. Some are spatial, and some resemble gadgets or miniature furniture, others look like rather usual jewelry or conceptual objects. All of them present broad panorama of contemporary metal art. In this panorama the view supplements the word and vice versa, for sometimes the word provides an opportunity to take more profound and different look at the work of art. In a sense, these are nearly intimate metal stories of the artists about what happens when working with metal. The stories also reveal their standpoint about metal. After all, the stories explain why they chose metal and what this material means to them. For this material means a lot for the second “METALLOphone”. To be more precise, it means everything.