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Emilija Škarnulyté

Candidate 2023

The multidisciplinary artist and filmmaker, Emilija Škarnulytė has long been attuned to the stories that have shaped the transition from modern humanism to the post-human condition of perpetual crisis, critical hope, and a return to allegory as a means of comprehending the self and the Other within the maelstrom of radical change known as the twenty-first century. 

Introduction

Emilija Škarnulyté

The multidisciplinary artist and filmmaker, Emilija Škarnulytė has long been attuned to the stories that have shaped the transition from modern humanism to the post-human condition of perpetual crisis, critical hope, and a return to allegory as a means of comprehending the self and the Other within the maelstrom of radical change known as the twenty-first century. 

Born in Vilnius, Lithuania, in 1987, Škarnulytė is a consummate explorer—a role necessary for an artist whose primary concerns are global concerns. Educated in Italy and Norway, and working in Berlin and Tromsø, she draws inspiration from ecologically unique locales as far flung and storied as the Arctic Circle, the deserts of the American West, the deserts of the Middle East, nuclear power stations of Europe, Cold War bases, ancient civilizations lost to the seas, and aphotic zones. And, in a vertiginous sense, she links the historical significance of these locales to the quantum and microscopic phenomena that constitute the infinitesimal building blocks of the world with a cinematic vision that scales the more-than-microscopic and to the astronomical. 

These geographical locales and dimensional layers serve as the contexts for her speculative “archaeological” films that reflect on the current world from an imagined future perspective in which the conscious being critically investigates the long-term ecological ramifications of the anthropocentric present. As such, they appear as points of reference in her meditative works, which often position modern myths—like the mystique of the nuclear age—within the grander context of geological deep time in order to ask how did we get here? 

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