Vitrum 2020 Pulse

Vitrum 2020 takes “Pulse” as the motto of its current edition. It’s a word that is used here to describe the different intensities with which we confront life. Pulse, the rhythmic pump of blood from the heart to the arteries, can be calm or agitated. It accelerates as it responds to external stimuli such as danger, excitement, activity, or illness, and it returns to a relaxed but steady rhythm when the body is in harmony.  

A pulse is also a short vibration or an abrupt sound that repeats in a sequence, and as such, it can be understood as an imitation of a bodily function. It is this type of pulse that we feel when we confront uncomfortable situations and challenge the established rules: a sudden but tough determination that helps us move forward with our plans even if we feel threatened or find ourselves in danger. In this case, the mind dominates the body and manages to transform a physical alert into a strength.  

Indeed, overcoming such challenges is what the festival focuses on, highlighting feelings and responses that are developed when people are pushed to their limits, a moment in which they move from quietness and conformity to rage and disobedience, trying out different attitudes and strategies that are difficult to reach in a calm and even state.

With the aforementioned ideas as a background, this edition of the Vitrum Festival will present two exhibitions and a number of workshops and performances enabling different perspectives to manifest in the same city over the course of two months. International and local artists will show their work in different locations of Kaunas, guiding the public through an exploration of glass as a material as well as a metaphor for different aspects of life and human existence.

In particular, the exhibition Clear Space invites artists from Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia to reflect about the idea of transparency as one of glass’s more valuable properties while also questioning how this characteristic is present in sociopolitical relationships and whether it is desirable or not. In a different way, The Sharp Edge of Glass will present the work of five international artists, generating a narrative around ideas of opacity and resistance in relation to challenges that require overcoming social limitations. All concepts are, in many cases, visible in the artists’ work, both in a material and conceptual way. 


The festival will be divided in two strands of exhibitions taking place in different spaces of Kaunas. The Sharp Edge of Glass, curated by Alba Folgado, will be exhibited at Meno Parkas gallery. Clear Space, which will show works selected through an open call, will be presented by a group of curators at Kaunas District Museum as well as at the Gallery without Walls in the M.K. Čiurlionis Museum. The exhibitions will be accompanied by a public program consisting of performances, hot glass performances, and various meetings with artists and educators.

The broschure of the festival here.