St. Casimir's Parish
KAUNAS PHOTO 2012: ECLECTICISM AND DISCOVERIES
By Milda Kiaušaitė
Another eye-catching highlight of the festival is the photographs of the Lithuanian colleague Jonas Kulikauskas, created by the wet collage process, documenting the everyday life, relations and household of the Lithuanian community in America. J. Kulikauskas is fluent in his works (cycles "St. Casimir's Parish in Los Angeles" and "Camp Rambynas") even in three exhibitions: Gallery 101, Historical Kaunas Presidential Palace and Joint Exhibition "About Photography" M In Žilinskas Art Gallery. Old-fashioned photographs need to be slowly, deeply thought-out, so that is what they should look at carefully and without haste. Not only the contents of J. Kulikauskas' photographs, but also the aesthetics of a certain concept of “far” and “close”: the photographs created just a month ago are both new and covered with a time shade, as if the burden of the centuries is depressed like their heroes. Along with Lithuania and far away, we are closer than many of us will ever be.
St. Casimir’s Parish in Los Angeles is home to many groups including the Lithuanian Scouts Association. Every summer, these scouts travel to Camp Rambynas, located in Holcomb Valley at an altitude of 7,000ft, just outside of Big Bear Lake in the San Gabriel Mountains in Southern California. The camp typically includes approximately 100 scouts and a team of parent volunteers that live among the pines in tents for ten days.
As an artist in residence at Camp Rambynas, my goal was to capture the spirit of this place to include in my series St. Casimir’s Parish. A small storage area was converted into a temporary darkroom and approximately 40 glass plate negatives were developed. Subjects were challenged to hold their poses with long exposure times that ranged between 10–45 seconds. Some scouts could “freeze” for the duration, however, many excited children could not.