Artist Jenny Kagan, daughter of Joseph Kagan and Margaret Strom grew up in the UK surrounded by stories of pre-war and wartime Lithuania. In the exhibition “Out of Darkness” she shares the stories they told her about their survival in Kaunas during the Holocaust.
The setting of this exhibition, created through images, music, projections, and other elements, draws viewers into a very personal and at the same time universal story, inviting them to explore their emotions and experiences in the presence of memory, light, and darkness.
“They met in the ghetto in 1943. She was only 18 years old. It is a story of oppression and persecution, of unimaginable loss and terror, and yet ultimately it is also a story of love and a story of survival,” says Kagan. “While those around them perished, they escaped the ghetto and survived the war in hiding, with the help of their Lithuanian saviors. You are invited to navigate your own journey through an atmosphere-laden landscape, where faces float in the darkness, suitcases open to reveal magical interiors, hidden corners invite you in and stories unfold.”
The exhibition “Out of Darkness”, like the other initiatives of Kaunas 2022 Memory Office programme, is an attempt to bring back to Kaunas the fates and stories of our predecessors – the Kaunasians of different ethnicities. To recall the achievements and contributions of those from whom we inherited this city.
The story told by Jenny Kagan seems even closer and more relevant to us in the face of today’s war. It raises the question of our choices – unfortunately, not in the abstract sense, but in the present tense.
What do I do when war comes? Do I choose left or right? If I must, which side do I send the other to? Do I open the door to the one who is being persecuted? Do I close my eyes and remain a passive observer? We hope that everyone will find their own answer in this exhibition.
You can read more about the exhibition and its author here.
Artist: Jenny Kagan
Associate Artist: David Willis
Producer: Justina Petrulionytė-Sabonienė
Programme Curator: Daiva Price
Electronics: Lewis Sharp
Additional Props: Jurga Misiūnė
Translation to Lithuanian: Vijolė Višomirskytė, Justina Petrulionytė-Sabonienė
Historical Consultations: Zigmas Vitkus
Lithuanian Voice Recordings: Violeta Štromienė
The exhibition will take place in Gimnazijos g. 4, next to the Historical Presidential Palace of the Republic of Lithuania in Kaunas. Entrance through Vilnius street, through the garden, or St. Gertrūdos Street parking lot. Follow Kaunas 2022 signs.
The entrance fee is applied.
Discounts are available for seniors, schoolchildren, students, and visitors with disabilities.
Tickets can be purchased on-site and at bilietai.lt
Wed, Fri–Sun 11:00–18:00
The exhibition will be open for visits from 04 Aug to 30 Oct 2022
The exhibition is intended to be experienced alone. At busy times you may be asked to wait.
Organizers: Kaunas 2022
Sponsors: UAB Optina, UAB Lahyer, antikvaraskaune.lt
Partners: Kauno regioninis valstybės archyvas
Photo: Jenny Kagan archive
Gimnazijos str. 4, Kaunas