The Girl is Innocent, 1999, video, 17 min.
Education as an issue, in its broadest definition, is crucial
to Arturas Raila's work. The "longer-term" effects of Soviet-era
isolation, semi-literate discourse and submission to hierarchical
structures has become a counterpoint in recent works. For
almost a decade, Raila taught at the Vilnius Secondary School
of Fine Arts. At Manifesta 3 he presents a video, The Girl
is Innocent, which is footage of a teachers' conference held
in the autumn of 1998. "This is the result of ten years' work.
The same things were repeated all the time. This is just a
detail from my daily life. And this film changes nothing.
I changed my workplace, but you cannot change your homeland.
I just chose another path and forgot about that period." The
video releases anti-Western undercurrents usually withheld
from public screenings, demonstrating rather than denouncing,
but demonstrating well enough to unmask, and to warrant subsequent
expulsion from this pedagogical collective. Arguably, the
strategy in this work is articulation by the subject in the
fluid there-and-then, rather than narration with an end in
mind, a making-text of the event as such.