On 16 August, a personal exhibition of a photographer Adas Vasiliauskas was opened in a public space in Vilnius. The exhibition Balkonų Istorijos (Balcony Stories) consists of more than 30 photographs from the project Karantino Portretai (Portraits of Quarantine) that has brought fame to the artist all around the world. The photographs that are exhibited live in Lithuania for the first time show moments that the photographer captured on the balconies of the country’s residents.
“I am glad that the exhibition will be displayed in an open space. Not everyone has seen these photographs. All the more so as, after one year, we have forgotten how our lives were during the first quarantine. I think it’s also nice that the way and space in which the photographs are displayed help to symbolically create a sense that you are on a balcony. I think this helps to showcase the photographs better,” says the photographer from Vilnius.
Mr. Vasiliauskas together with the organiser and author of the project, the RE developer Realco, selected more than 30 best photographs capturing an interesting story or a meaningful message. For example, one of the shots required more than 100 metres of duct tape, another idea required over half a hundred balloons that had to be kept in place to save them from strong wind. Many people decided to pose with piles of toilet paper rolls or bags of buckwheat and, in this way, have a humoristic take on the pre-quarantine panic-buying.
The photographer also captured children’s birthdays that, during the quarantine, were celebrated in a small family circle – the drone visiting their houses was a great surprise for the little ones. Mr. Vasiliauskas shares that over 150 families spending time on balconies or terraces were photographed with more than 10 thousand shots taken.
According to Julius Dovidonis, CEO of Realco, a company that initiated the exhibition, when choosing a new home, Lithuanians find balconies very important. No wonder that they served many different purposes during the quarantine as well.
“When developing new projects and designing houses, we always pay a lot of attention to balconies and terraces – an element that not only complements the exterior of the building but is also an important space for people living in apartments. The role of balconies became even more significant during the quarantine, since a big part of people’s social life has moved there – people would go to balconies to enjoy some fresh air, relax, exercise, work and catch up with friends or relatives standing at a safe distance outside of the balcony. This is captured in the portraits shot by Adas Vasiliauskas,” says Mr. Dovidonis.
The photo exhibition Balcony Stories has a social mission as well. Not only do these photographs remind us what our lives were like during the recent quarantine, they also serve as a reminder that the same or similar situation can recur if we fail to achieve herd immunity. The author of unique photographs Adas Vasiliauskas and the organisers of the exhibition invite people to get vaccinated – this can also be done in the vaccination point set up by the municipal government of Vilnius city near the exhibition site (V. Gerulaičio 1).
On 16–22 August, the exhibition Balcony Stories will be displayed on the ground-floor parking lot of the Avia Solutions Group Arena. Later, the exhibition will be relocated to the Go Life multi-apartment complex being developed at the intersection of V. Gerulaičio and Ozo streets. The guests attending the opening of the exhibition had a unique opportunity to take a look at the panorama of Vilnius from the point of a future balcony while being raised to a height of 22 metres on an aerial work platform.
The exhibition is open to the public and will be displayed until 30 September.