The NewStand – confession of a Lietuvos Spauda


*Here you will find the monologue from the sound installation printed in English and Lithuanian

A public artwork by: Berglind Jóna Hlynsdóttir

Placed in: the Lietuvos Spauda, in front of Maxima in Nida, Lithuania

-between the 19th & 23th of November 2012.

Made for the Nida Art Colony with sponsorship from Nord and Myndstef.

Text by: Berglind Jóna Hlynsdóttir

Translation to Lithuanian by: Aleksandra Fomina

Vocie: Robertas Narkus

Sound editing: Milda Laužikaité

Excerpt from the sound piece:

Being the clone that I am makes me wonder about reality, standing here on this sand spit between two battling bodies of water, far enough from the mothership to somewhat lose my allegiance. I wonder about my own reality and being, sometimes I wish I was built into a real timeline and that I was something other than this postmodern time-traveling impostor, but my historical camouflage comes with a good imagination and an inbuilt time machine. I have read enough history to know that everything is relative and after reading the news every day of my constructed life I can feel that the public memory is lacking in the everyday and local existence. Yes, maybe we are just grains of sand in some giant ocean and our smallest organic components do mimic images of large and vast galaxies in a way that might make us think that the infinitely small and infinitely big are somehow just the same mumbo jumbo. No matter how small and short of time we are in the vacuum of history, to our own senses always play the leading role as we draw breath and take steps through our possible landscapes.

Sound piece in Lithuanian:

About the work:

The work is a monologue recited by a newsstand on the Curonian Spit in the central square of the town Nida in Lithuania. The stand belongs to the biggest chain of newsstands in Lithuania that bear the name Lietuvos Spauda. In the piece the newsstand appears to reopen almost autonomously during the winter and fall season through which it normally stands abandoned. Reopened and lit up it starts to tell its own story about the town, its own history and the history of the spit as it distributes a new newsletter from it´s small window opening. The newsstand questions the public memory and official histories told, questioning how all societies choose to create their image with selective memories from the past. Through this it creates its own playful fictional perspective of itself in the past and present as well as of the history of the area, which is built on the artist’s research into the historical record and numerous interviews and conversations with locals.

The uninhabited newsstand spoke out to the surrounding square and passersby with a warm male voice, during a time when most of the towns tourists had left, leaving only locals and random Russian shoppers from Kaliningrad stopping for cheaper food on the Lithuanian side of the boarder of the Curonian Spit. During fall, winter and early spring the city drags in its wings leaving numerous buildings, restaurants, hotels, museums and other services in hibernation for a large part of the year. These are the same services that give the area most of its income. The newsstand addresses this as it comes out of hibernation to speak to the locals who frequent this square and the local Maxima store which is the only large supermarket on the Lithuanian side, which along with the fact that it is open all year round make it a central figure in the city life. The animated shed attempts to create a strange presence in this familiar and central site.