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Odysseus Atlas is the Lithuania-based collaboration of visual artists Jūra Bardauskaitė and Kęstutis Montvidas. It emerges from the artists’ shared concern for environmental issues and their mutual understanding of natural aesthetics in art.
The duo’s creative process is rooted in the principles of openness and reflective practice in debates over anthropocentrism and ecocentrism. This complex subject necessitates a constantly evolving, research-based approach within the field of interdisciplinary arts. Amid this shifting landscape, Odysseus Atlas’ diverse works are highly distinctive, due to their quality of emerging from – yet remaining integral to – their natural settings.
The Odyssey forms the artists’ initial inspiration, and the figure of Odysseus — the legendary trickster — is their guide. Hospitality is a major theme of this epic, and Odysseus Atlas renders this concern eco-centric. The term ‘eco-centrism’ itself (from the Greek οἶκος, ‘house’ and κέντρον, ‘center’) etymologically echoes this narrative. Odysseus’ struggle to return home parallels humanity’s longing for an ecologically sustainable future. In adopting Homer’s poem as a common ground for their work, the artists likewise embrace a poetic aesthetic language to address their sensitive subject matter.
This devotion to creating within a nature-centred system of values requires careful attention to the environment. Odysseus Atlas’ aim to absorb and embody this ambience leads to a special interest in the place in which a work of art emerges. The nature of place exerts a major influence on works by Odysseus Atlas – determining the concept, the materials selected, the methods, and the ultimate form.
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