Egle Ulcickaite (b. 1989) is a doctoral student at the Vilnius Academy of Arts, a lecturer at the Chair of Painting, and a participant of various art residency programmes. Her paintings of subdued tones feature details of domestic scenes, interior elements, landscapes and portraits. Through these motifs of daily life the painter approaches the main target of her creative search – time. In Ulcickaite’s paintings time acquires a psychological dimension – its problematic is reflected in the context of human experiences. In her works Eglė turns to the recent past, the Soviet period. Born on the threshold of independence, but still in Soviet Lithuania, the painter does not have a conscious experience of that epoch and cannot remember her early experiences. However, her current living environment is full of signs from that time, which, although not really familiar to the artist, provoke a strange collectively transferred feeling of nostalgia.
Thus, Ulcickaite gets down to analysing her situation in the context of the lost time. Making use of the ideas of psychoanalysis, she seeks to discover these signs of time, these traumatising foreign substances, in her environment, and tame them. In this way, once customary attributes of life (for example, a window of a cashier’s booth in a corridor of an institution) become exotic objects in contemporary culture, a kind of museum artefacts that have lost their functions. The exoticisation of the represented object creates a distance that is missing in daily life, and alongside, a possibility to reevaluate the past and its relics.
Ulcickaite’s works are autobiographical and based on her own experiences, but they also reflect the general mood of the young generation. Born at the time of political shift, they actively look for reference points in their past, even if that past is fragmentary, and its narratives are fictitious and not authentic. Alongside, she doubts the credibility of collective memory and asserts the idea of collective fantasy and the notion of history as a fake.