Ramune Valanciute’s art practice is based in exploring the effects of trauma on the human mind and how fleeting moments transform into engraved memories through a process of emotion that we have little control over. She looks into different methods to bring the past into the present through ritual and repeated action in order to try and gain some control over this process. She often explores the ugly and the taboo, thinking through what society’s hidden desires can tell us about the human condition. And discovering what led us to categorise certain behaviours and beliefs as ‘other’ including fetishism and occultism. She also considers the unseen influence of the past onto the present, investigating psychological theories such as trans-generational trauma. Although her work is multidisciplinary, the outcome is often some form of documentation of performative action.
Valanciute was inspired to research her ancestors’ pagan roots and the traditions that existed in Lithuania pre-Christianity. Through her research she found that many popular holidays and symbols in today’s Christian and secular traditions have been adopted from paganism. And that pagan religions are rising in popularity in recent years due to their focus on nature and spiritual growth. This feels particularly relevant to the world today as through a global crisis, we seem to be appreciating nature now more than ever, whilst also accelerating technologically. In Valanciute’s film she demonstrates the rituals and actions that our ancestors used to connect to nature. She hopes this will inspire learning from these ancient techniques to design an innovative future, one with the wellbeing of the planet in mind.
(Central Saint Martins, London, XD)