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Marius Žalneravičius "NOW TO BE HERE"

4th-29th  April 2023 m.
Opening of the exhibition – 4th April  5 p.m. 

Poster exhibitions are uncommon in the Lithuanian cultural scene, as the number of graphic designers who create artistic posters in Lithuania is also small. One of these rare birds, which was working in this field for fifteen years, is graphic designer Marius Žalneravičius. In his fourth solo poster exhibition titled “Now to Be Here”, the artist talks about the awareness of the moment, the desire to fully experience the place where not only the everyday life happens but also the creative processes are developing. His childhood crush Vilnius has become such a place for the artist, and its various cultural forms have taken up residence in his posters many years later. Among them are the posters of classic cinema nights, documentary films, singing poetry festivals and other cultural events that have attracted the eye of the capital residents over the last decade. The dialogue with Vilnius is interwoven with the posters of artistic events, contemporary art, and fashion festivals of the author's hometown Šiauliai.

Designing cultural, non-commercial events gives the artist more space for self-expression and improvisation. When designing posters, Žalneravičius strives not to repeat himself, not to reproduce the same stylistics or discovered patterns, and tries different tools. An aesthetically pleasing image, as the designer says, is never his goal in itself – his real ambition is to convey a strong message through a poster. As a tool for this purpose, he uses humor and irony, as well as attention-grabbing characters. In his posters for bardic festivals, the artist chooses to create a cozy, magical image of the performers of this music – his heroes are birds, beasts of the forest as well as the mysterious shadow of a pianist. The opposite effect is created in the posters of the documentary film festival “Nepatogus kinas”, where the heroes are an unpleasant reflection of our society, meant to shock and invite us not to put up with injustice.

One of the largest groups of Žalneravičius's works are posters of cinema classics. Before taking on a particular poster, the artist first watches the film at least a few times, trying to grasp its essence. Usually, the author chooses not to depict the characters of the film directly but seeks to reveal the atmosphere of the film and to reflect the director's stylistics. However, the artist adopts a different strategy when creating exhibition posters. As if trying not to overshadow the participants of the exhibition, he chooses a minimalist posters expression, and compositions are made up of typographic elements only. In this case, the conceptualization of typefaces, the transformation of letters into architectural or grotesque elements, the introduction of futuristic moods helps to create a mesmerizing result.

The exhibition “Now to Be Here” presents not only posters well known to Vilnius and Šiauliai residents, but also variations as well as the author's sketches that have not reached the public previously. The latter are particularly interesting because the designer works not only with digital tools, but also pays a lot of attention to drawings of different styles, pours watercolors, constructs collages from fabric scraps, plasticine, and photographs. The sketches allow to explore the kitchen of graphic design, from capturing the first idea, choosing the right tools to express it, to developing the concept.