Sileikiene Vilma


Self-portrait with Ancestors, 2013

… on my right is Mykolas Kaributas Višnioveckis, born 330 years before I was. Studied in Prague, travelled all around Europe, appreciated art, and spoke six languages. At the age of 30 married out of convenience. Nearly at the same time was elected as King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania (due to his father’s authority, they say). Reigned for four years, although in Lithuania Pacai family was more influential than the Duke. Died (did not perish though) during the war with Turks.

… on my left is Paulius Boimas, mayor of Vilnius and doctor of medicine. A contemporary of Mykolas Kaributas, yet lived even 70 years. Studied in Krakow and gained doctor degrees in philosophy and medicine. Worked in the estate of the monarch of Lithuania and Poland. Loaned money with interest, traded by wholesale, cured noblemen. Married to a widow Liucija, had no children. Completed the building works of the Christ’s Suffering Chapel in Lvov that has been started yet by his grandfather. The present portrait of him has been hanging there as well. His father Povilas Jurgis Boimis, a physician too, was known as artists’ patron.


Latent Biography, 2013

Forgotten personal photographs, piled up in boxes, were nestling to each other more and more closely. Poor storage conditions (low temperatures and high humidity) affected the emulsion of the prints and they started to ‘radiate’. The pictures absorbed each other’s surfaces. Here started the latent biography <…> where names and facts were no more important. A photograph not as a document, but rather a new form of hallucination.


Process, since 2009, colour prints on canvas, 60 x 75 cm

The Process series drew its inspiration from the possibility to stay with art works (to have them close, to touch, to investigate, to smell, to feel). From communication with each of them. My subjective interpretations that this contact inspires are dictated by here and now, circumstances of the very present moment. They are tiny fragments both of history and the everyday.


At the Astrologer, Italian painting, 17th C. / 2008, series Process


Sloughs, 2006, four prints, 30 x 40 cm

Maternity leave. My new status – being a mother – turned into condition for several new works. Sometimes I felt if there was no me anymore. I had to do something…


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACorner, 2006, sound and photographs. Vilma Šileikienė (lullaby), Ričardas Šileika (lullaby), Nojus Šileika (weeping)

Vilma’s lulaby

Richard’s lullaby

Touch and voice is the main means of communication between parents and their baby. Voice for a baby is the only way to express his/her will, requests, and objections. Parents’ response to their baby’s reactions is likewise phonic. The old-time mothers’ lullabies and songs inevitably transform into new forms and registers, different components tie them into a whole. One can only resume: the “voicephonies” are the total therapy and the saving prayer.


Made in Lithuania, 2004–2005, colour prints, 40 x 50 cm

These handmades that have or used to have a practical function reached me from my friends’ homes as valuable exhibits. I photograph them as if they were museum art pieces. The stories behind the things become inherent part of the work, a certain metrics. Photographs are exhibited alongside with descriptions of the stories.


Little Box, 1960, postcards, cardboard, plastic (from x-ray prints that had the emulsion layer scraped off)

Serving as a shepherd Pranas caught cold and was taken to the hospital. While staying there he asked his sister to send him a bunch of used postcards. Once back home he handed to her a little box, a souvenir he sewed himself of the used postcards. For the diligent boy it was a way to cheat time. Today Pranas is in his 60s, his infirm hand trembles more and more.

Currently I am interested in personal here and now experiences and various memories – intersections of retained feelings to the present moment. Ričardas Šileika (a hearsays collector) has recorded my phrase: It feels good to be in everything, but not with everyone. To be in everything – after this feeling I am seeking, trying to trace the intangible and the ephemeral. It is a pleasant practice, if not a certain addiction. If I could, I was in this way. In an abstract way and abstract territory… Do not even know where and how… In the midst of… For me it is important to grasp what happens when we meet other people or art pieces. After all every piece (a thing or a human) besides its physical dimensions has a great many of various purposes, intentions, certain energy. My photograph series Made in Lithuania is about love and memories, about use and retention. Using white balance outgrew into Process series that is about me and art works, about their implications. We all are interrelated much more than we ever dare to admit to ourselves. Namely these intersections are what intrigue me. I believe in communication through art works. It is real; it takes place – to the most unsuspected directions, at unpredictable angles and amplitudes. It is the sincerest form of communication.


1996–2002 m. – Photography and Media Department, Vilnius Academy of Arts

1988–1990 m. – Photography, 47th vocational school Vilnius

Grants, residencies

2005 – residency Nordic AiR at Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art (NIFCA), Hordaland Kunstsenter, Bergen, Norway. Sleipnir travel grant, NIFCA

2004 – AIR program Djerassi, Woodside, California, US. State grant for educational purposes, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania. Sleipnir travel grant, NIFCA

2003 – Creative workshop in Šeteniai (organized by Česlavas Milošas Homeland Foundation, Janina Monkutė-Marks museum-gallery)

1998 – Cité internationale des arts, Paris. A residency by Vilnius Academy of Arts

Selected exhibitions and presentations

Solo shows

2012 – Procesas (Process), Vartai gallery, Vilnius

2011 – Procesas (Process), Pušynas hotel, Druskininkai, Lithuania

2009 – Vilnius days in Gdansk, Process and Made in Lithuania, Pionova gallery, Gdansk, Poland

2006 – Kampas (Corner) (sound and photographs), Janina Monkutė-Marks museum-gallery, Kėdainiai (with Ričardas ir Nojus Šileika)

2005 – Made in Lithuania, presentation, Cork Vision Centre, Ireland

2004 – Lithuania–America: In search for Happy Life, Djerassi AIR program, Woodside, California, US

2004 – Northeast Issues Meeting, Augusta gallery, Helsinki, Finland

2003 – 24/7: Wilno–Nueva York (visą parą), presentation and discussion, Contemporary Art Centre Vilnius

1999 – Aš ne menininkė (I am not artist), performance in LTV broadcast tvvv.plotas: artist and presentation

Group shows

2012 – NordArt 2012, Vorwerksalle, Budelsdorf, Germany

2010 – Lithuanian Art 2000–2010: Ten Years, Contemporary Art Centre Vilnius

2008 – Placebo, Galerie im Kornerpark, Berlin

2007 – Among Us. Exhibition of Vilnius women artists, Contemporary Art Centre Vilnius

2004 – Atkuriama atmintis (Restored Memory), Vartai gallery, Vilnius

2003 – 2 Show. Young Art from Latvia and Lithuania, Contemporary Art Centre Vilnius

2003 – Fotografija.doc (Photography.doc), Arka gallery, Vilnius

2002 – Who is who, IBID. Projects gallery, London

2002 – Artgenda 2003: Biennial for young artists around the Baltic Sea, Hamburg, Germany

2001 – Self-esteem. Lithuanian Art 01, Contemporary Art Centre Vilnius

2001 – Contemporary art exhibition on billboards, Vilnius

2000 – Fotoantropologija (Photoanthropology), Antano Mončio namai-muziejus, Palanga

1999 – Nesaugūs (Insecure), Contemporary Art Centre Vilnius (with Inga Raubaitė and Aida Kačinskaitė)

1999 – Identifikacija (Identification), performance in a troleybus No. 5, Vilnius (with Troika group)

Keywords of Creative Practice

Made in Lithuania, interpretations of heritage, documentality, history, communication, photography, installation, research

Artists I Admire

Diane Arbus, Marina Abramović, Joel Sternfeld…

Curriculum Vitae