A Paradise Tree
Ugnius Gelguda, 4K converted to full HD, color, sound, 6 min 41 sec, 2011 (English, German and Spanish subtitles)
Lithuanian version of text can be downloaded here
Video work A Paradise Tree documents the rise of a new neighborhood of artists in Vilnius, Lithuania, which is often artificially compared to the New York’s SoHo.
A Paradise Tree explores the boundaries of documentary and tells about the first forced steps of a new urban community. The story is ‘told’ through a hypertext link with the less known video work A Walk by Jonas Mekas created in 1990. During this one hour walk across the rainy SoHo neighborhood, Mekas gives an intimate and chaotic recital of neighborhood creation, tells about the first tree planted in the then industrial area by himself and his colleague Machiunas, and notes the transformation of SoHo streets and their inhabitants.
The video work revisits a community sustained by the relationship of an urban space and a uniting idea, and the inevitable change of this relationship under the influence of time and strong commercial mechanisms. The video camera slowly follows the shapes of lofts that are being set up on Sevcenkos Street as well as the carcass of a former factory which still exists but has already changed its function, combining the views of rough and dull buildings with the hopes of future settlers and thus transplanting real spaces into a fictional or potential story.
Cinematographer – Vilius Machiulskis
Remote control – Jonas Burnickis
Camera assistant – Audrius Zelenius
Key Grip – Rokas Rudzionis
Grip – Gintaras Butenas
Voice over – Alex Lewis
Postproduction – Vaclovas Nevcesauskas
A Paradise Tree, video still, 2011
Installation detail, gallery Vartai