Virginija Vitkiené, commissioner of the Season of Lithuania in France 2024
After directing the Kaunas 2022 – European Capital of Culture programme, Virginija Vitkienė is now a commissioner for the Season of Lithuania in France, scheduled to run from 12 September to 12 December 2024.
Lithuanian Culture Institute and Institut français organize a call for ideas for programming the Season of Lithuania in France 2024.
Updated on 22/02/2023
Born in 1975, Virginija Vitkiené is an art critic, curator and lecturer. She is also editor-in-chief of art publications and responsible for international projects in the cultural field. With a PhD in art history in 2008 on contemporary art, she has taught at Vytautas Magnus University. Having directed the Kaunas Biennale from 2006 to 2018, she has been since 2015 the initiator of the Kaunas - European Capital of Culture 2022 project. In this context, she curated the William Kentridge exhibition "That Which We Do Not Remember" in Kaunas in 2022, which received 89 000 visitors. During her curatorial career, she has collaborated with the M.K. Ciurlionis National Museum of Art, the Meno Parkas gallery, the Association of Lithuanian Artists, Le Magasin contemporary art centre (Grenoble), Lithuanian Culture Institute, and the Leipzig Baumwollspinnerei among others.
Virginija Vitkiené is the initiator of the Magic Carpets project (2017-2021), a Creative Europe Platform that brings together fifteen European partners and enables emerging curators and artists to participate in co-creation processes in the public sphere. This platform is mainly deployed within communities in European cities and suburbs. At the head of the Kaunas - European Capital of Culture 2022 project, she has also supported the development of many local institutions to give them an international dimension. A programme was implemented by 77 Lithuanian cultural organisations, which collaborated with more than 500 European and foreign partner institutions. More than four thousand different events were co-created by almost 18 000 artists and professionals and brought more than 2.4 million visitors to this relatively small city during 7 year project period – 2017- 2022.
During the visit to Paris of the President of the Republic of Lithuania in November 2021, Presidents Emmanuel Macron and Gitanas Nausėda decided to organize a Season of Lithuania in France in the fall of 2024.
This Season will highlight Lithuania's culture and history from both a heritage and contemporary perspective. It will enable the establishment and strengthening of lasting cooperation between professionals from France and Lithuania. It will invite debate on major contemporary issues within the European Union, notably around human rights and the climate emergency, and to share the values of freedom, democracy and equality.
This Season is implemented by the Lithuanian Culture Institute and the French Institute, in close collaboration with the Lithuanian Embassy in France, under the aegis of the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania.
Director of NGO Kaunas Biennial, until 2018.
PhD in Art History, specialising in Contemporary Art.
Artistic Director of the Kaunas Biennial, until 2018.
Head of the Kaunas - European Capital of Culture 2022 project.
In November 2022, she is appointed commissioner of the Season of Lithuania in France in 2024.