All performances are about Monika, and this “Monika” could be found in each of us – from 18 May, the Vilnius city gallery Meno niša will host the exhibition Dirsytė, a video documentation of performances by artist Monika Dirsytė. This exhibition marks the 10th anniversary of her work as an artist.

Although Monika Dirsytė graduated from the Vilnius Academy of Arts with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Sculpture and is currently studying for a Ph.D., she is recognized as a performance artist. She became interested in the genre of performance art during her studies, and during her 10 years of work, she has realized more than 20 memorable and challenging performances in Lithuania and abroad. 

Her performances have been presented in the UK (London’s D Contemporary Gallery), Germany (Berlin’s Burster Gallery), the Netherlands, Hungary, and elsewhere. The works have been acquired by the MO Museum. The most successful performance for Dirsytė has been I am your sun, for which she was voted the best artist of the fair by the visitors of ArtVilnius’15.

In the exhibition Dirsytė, which opens on 18 May, the artist will present video documentation of her performances from a decade of her work. From her first performance True / False (2014) to the performance I am your sun (2015), which made her famous, and the ambiguous 8-hour performance Complex (2016), which received over 10,000 views during the live broadcast at ArtVilnius’16. Due to her openness and testing of the limits of her body in her work, she is often compared to performance art star Marina Abramović, although, according to Dirsytė, they are completely different personalities in terms of values. 

“The Vilnius gallery Meno niša was a major contributor to the implementation and export abroad of my performance I am your sun, which brought me success. I am very grateful to Diana Stomienė, the director of the gallery, and Sonata Baliuckaitė, the curator of the exhibition. That is why it was very important to open the exhibition Dirsytė at Meno niša because my career as a professional artist was launched from there,” said M. Dirsytė about the upcoming exhibition. 

All of Dirsytė’s performances are united by their openness and very vivid, sincere, and personal experiences. “Monika’s first performances were characterized by intimate contact, a confrontation with the viewer (I am your sun, Monika to Monika, Face book, etc.), and then Monika focused on the collective experience in her performances, performing with the whole team, sometimes only directing and inspiring, but not participating, such as in the performance No one will take me away from me (2017). In the latter performances, the artist concentrated even more on the physical capabilities of her body, thus shocking and surprising the crowds,” said the curator of the exhibition, S. Baliuckaitė, stressing that the artist uses a lot of theatrical elements in the visual presentation of the performance and the scenography.

“Although almost all of Monika’s performances are characterized by a long process, monotony, usually lasting the whole working day, they also typically have a well-thought-out scenography, installation, costumes, whether it is a metal pipe, a glass tunnel, an ice podium, or a bride’s dress so that the performance artist seems to be transporting herself into a different world, giving her works a theatrical and elevated quality,” said the curator S. Baliuckaitė. 

Monika Dirsytė’s exhibition Dirsytė will be on show at Vilnius gallery Meno niša until 27 May.

The sponsor of the gallery is Vilnius City Municipality.
The exhibition partners:  events and communication agency OLIVE and VILNIUS TECH Faculty of Creative Industries.
This retrospective exhibition of the same title will also be open in Klaipėda at the Klaipėda Cultural Communication Centre until 4 June. 


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