Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas’s Karaoke is part of Performa NYC online exhibition BodyBuilding, and is included in the Bodybuilding, a groundbreaking publication (Edited by Charles Aubin, Performa, New York and Carlos Mínguez Carrasco, ArkDes, Stockholm) examining the use of performance by architects.
It’s all about singing. Independence as the aim of “Singing revolution” has brought us capitalism with post-colonialism as a paradoxical consequence of political freedom. The capitalism, which replaced the socialism, involves wild privatization, and therefore features of oppression, is stoically persisted as a free will by frightened citizens to disappoint our Western tutors. How come, that grandpa’s Marx’s lessons were so easily forgotten. Or maybe just Marxism as well as Leninism had a bad connotation in Lithuanians mind due to well-known reasons. Capitalism had a positive reception, because of seductive mundane welfare of the market: chewing gum, bananas, jeans, sex, money and… ABBA.
Even without understanding the text, therefore the lyrics [often the essence of the song], inhabitants of the big state have penetrated theirs bodies with rhythms and melodies of a new utopia. The new utopia of the market became a fetish accepted what was imposed on them as originating in their ‘nature’. The power of Karaoke [DIY] enabled people of replay of something that has happen before – they become even no longer aware of their subordination, so the lessons of dialectic and historic materialism were easily forgotten.
The fascination with Estrada borrows from ABBA’s song “Money, Money, Money”, which is performed in English by the volunteer employees of LTB – The Lithuanian Savings Bank. LTB is the last state owned bank that was privatized by the foreign investors in 2001.
Karaoke was commissioned by the Out of Money exhibition, curated by Nils Claesson and Karen Hansson and presented at the Kulturhuset, Stockholm, Sweden in 2001. The exhibition was produced in cooperation with CRAC, the Creative Room for Art and Computing and the Swedish Institute – Partnership for Culture program.