Vytautas Kumza

1992 · Lithuania

Artist biography

Vytautas Kumza (1992) - Lithuanian-born, Amsterdam-based photographer. Vytautas studied at Royal Academy of Arts (KABK) in Hague and graduated from his Fine arts - photography studies at Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. He is winner of “Sybren Hellinga Kunstprijs” and “Emerging Artist Stipendium from Mondriaan Fonds”, also in 2019 Vytautas got a grant from Lithuanian Council for Culture. Young photographer also won “Ron Mandos Photo Talent Award” and “HvA photographer in Residence award”. He was nominated for “Rabobank Dutch National Photographic Portrait Talent prize”, for “Riga Photography Biennal award”, “StartPoint Prize 2017” and for “European Photography Prize”. Artist focuses on interventions in everyday situations that result in the manipulation of the physical, temporal and aesthetic laws of the subjects within his images. These simulations create a space of contemporaneity in which the beholder can only linger and experience the present moment. By provoking the performativity of depth and surface both in the three-dimensional elements of his displays casting shadow on the flat photographs, and in the misleading interplay of background and foreground within images, the installations beckon: “Look. Yes, look again, and longer this time.” Artist tries to dismantle the logic of the objects so as to be able to rebuild them in different ways using sculpture and photography. Kumža makes assemblies oscillating between absurdity, encryption, transcription and inefficient functionality, sometimes revealing the banality of the genre. Kumža aims to create embodied experiences with the use of sculptural elements and presentation displays. The installations serve as an unfaithful encyclopaedia or archive which displays various shapes of the photographs. By using visual illusions, spatial constructs, inverted colours and exaggerated scales he tries to re-constitute otherwise mundane and familiar objects. Within his displays, he arranges the images to highlight similarities between genres, and to point to structural parallels between outside and inside, organic and inanimate, natural and artificial. Kumža uses perforated wooden wall panels as the background to display the photographs on and places a window in the middle of a space. The resulting installation is like a toolbox of an artist’s trickery. He also uses chewing gum-like grey corners made out of clay to show some works, sealing others between two sheets of glass with silicone, to emphasise the three-dimensional nature of the works. Threading the fine line between trompe l’oeil and fine art photography, Kumža creates deceitful constructions that provoke and perplex. Scouring the assorted wares on sale of flea markets sellers, hardware stores and souvenir shops, he plans meticulously how each piece of his assorted bric-a-brac should fit into his expertly-designed images.

Vytautas Kumza

  • Exhibitions 1

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