A project initiated by MO Museum, Talking Statues, this year was opened for its fifth season, featuring the talking statue for an outstanding personality – Maestro Vytautas Kernagis. Talking Statues have been listenedc to over 50,000 times since the launch of the project, and this summer, it is expected to be actively exploited again.
“First of all, a certain piece must be interesting not only for me but also for the listener. If this happens, then the song never dies and can stand all tests of time. The truth lies in matters that continously touch us,” once said Maestro Vytautas Kernagis. Now an alive statue can also “speak” in his voice. On 19 June, the fifth season of Vilnius Talking Statues was opened, and this year, the talking statue for Maestro – a memorial bench in Gediminas Avenue near Lukiškės Square – was introduced.
Besides the statue for Vytautas Kernagis, this year, the statue of the composer, conductor and one of the most prominent European composers of classical Romantic music – Stanisław Moniuszko – will speak up as well. The presentation of the statue to the public will take place at the Christopher Summer Festival on 27 June near St. Catherine’s Church.
Art brought closer to people
Vilnius Talking Statues is an interactive project that offers an active and rich alternative for the leisure of Vilnius residents and guests. Interested passers-by may receive a call to their phones and get acquainted with the most prominent historical personalities of Lithuania, as well as representatives of other nations or fictional characters, or symbols, of the city. The project was initiated by MO Museum in 2015 and has been running successfully for the fifth season opened this year.
“We are glad that this year we are opening the Talking Statues‘ season by talking to an exclusive personality – Vytautas Kernagis. This project had been launched when MO was still operating as a museum without walls. We have always found it extremely important because of its openness – when art is literally brought closer to people. A fun and playful call – like a new form of having a dialogue with art and statues, which we often find on the streets of Vilnius,” says Milda Ivanauskienė, Director at MO Museum, which has initiated the project of Vilnius Talking Statues.
New vibrant location in Vilnius
“It is sort of magical to hear Maestro Vytautas Kernagis once more. And while the memories of him are still vivid and alive, I am sure that the message about his talent and his work should be spread as widely as possible. Apart from Kernagis’ songs, books and records, it is great to have a place where you can come and just sit with him. Now the place is alive and can speak in his voice. I would like to see as many Vilnius residents as possible here,” says Deputy Mayor Valdas Benkunskas.
“We have been thinking for a long time who could tell Vilnius residents and guests about our dad, and we decided that nobody would be able to do this better than himself. Therefore, the memorial bench will speak in Vytautas Kernagis’ voice. This will enable us getting back to the Brodas’ times and feel its spirit. People who receive the call can not only hear the Vytautas Kernagis’ voice but also his song “I am going away”, which he began composing by sitting at the place of the present memorial bench,” noted Maestro’s daughter, Eglė Kernagytė-Dambrauskė, at the opening event.
In the voice of actors, singers and public figures, statues are telling about themselves, about the times of the personality they embody, about what they see around, what they feel in their statue-body as well as in the part of Vilnius where they are destined to be. During a direct call, listeners may not only get to know the personalities or characters immortalised in the statues but also learn more about the cultural, historical and architectural heritage of Vilnius and remember the history of the city.
Moments of the fifth season opening of Vilnius Talking Statues: HERE.
Photo credit: Nendrė Žilinskaitė