Svajonė and Paulius Stanikas / The Little Garden of Two Young Girls. 1569

Si Deus Nobiscum quis contra nos

If God be for us who can be against us

In present-day Lithuania, the Union of Lublin is often unduly undervalued, considering it a treachery of Lithuania by almost polonized nobility and the date of the collapse of an independent Lithuania, although historians now agree that it was far from it.

However, historians were particularly concerned with the controversy and conflicts surrounding the formation of the Lublin Union, and this was more reflecting not the 16th century, but the  situation and realities in the 20th century where relations between Lithuania and Poland were not really good and conflicting scenes were also sought in history. It was the Union of Lublin and its influenced history that proved to be appropriate.

Thus, “1569” is a rather controversial date, perhaps not so much a specific historical fact as ideological, at the same time deeply emotional, collective projections that have long unfolded and circled in the (sub) consciousness of both nations.

The duo of artists Svajonė and Paulius Stanikas use this symbolic date for the “beginning of the

end” for Lithuanians and delve deeper into the quasi-historical fantasies, rather than the actual level, by embodying them in an installation. Artists take a seemingly simple and straightforward historical fact, and seem to open the heart of it by demonstrating that it contains paradoxical surreal logic. The artists cultivate a monument, the monument “1569”, which, while acquiring an eclectic material body, thrives not on the domestic but on the collective subconscious or imaginary dimension.


Artists live and work in Paris. SetPStanikas (Svajonė and PauliusStanikai), artists whose creative path is continuing for a third decade, have participated in many prestigious exhibitions and projects, among which Venice Biennale (they represented Lithuania in the 50th edition of the Biennale), Liverpool, Moscow and Beijing Biennales, Pompidou Center, Gallery VU in Paris, “White Box” in New York, Other Gallery in Shanghai etc.  SetPStanikas many times participated in Rencontres Arles photography festival in group and personal shows.

Their work was shown in “Dans la nuit des images” at the Grand Palais in Paris and large scale diptych “Downfall” was exhibited in the exhibition “Traces du Sacre” at the Pompidou Center in Paris in 2008. In 2012 they created the installation “L’Ouvrier, la Paysanne et l’Aigle” at the event “Nuit blanche” in Trocadero gardens.

The duo was invited to teach at the Le Fresnoy – Studio national des arts contemporains and L’EcoleSuperieur d’art des Rocailles in Biarritz.