Artist Ruta Butkute

let your body do all the talking

Let your body do all the talking, 2021, performance
duration: 00:15 min, Arti et amicitiae / Playground Festival, Museum Leuven, Belgium (upcoming Nov 17-20th 2022)

performer Yurie Umamoto / text Emily Kocken, design Inedition /exhibition ‘Direct me to the Centre of Gravity’ / supported by Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunst, Tijl Fonds, Mondriaan Fonds

/ photo credits: Maarten Nauw, Natalia Sudova


The performative sculptures created by Ruta Butkute, which she defines as ‘furniture abstractions’, built from ready-mades. The exhibition space becomes interactive via a series of choreographed sculpture performances. The audience will be invited to touch sculptural objects and make them move while performance is absent.

Recently (July, 2022) the book ‘How To Make Sculpture Move’ was published by Jap Sam Books, as result of the collaboration between artist Ruta Butkute and artist/writer Emily Kocken. The book is part of the project How To Make Sculpture Move, putting language and objects in a dynamic dialogue, creating new functions for audience and performer.

spell action #1

Spell Action#1, 2020, performance
duration: 00:20 min, Why Not? festival, W139 / Contemporary Art Centre (CAC) in Vilnius (curated AV17 & Virginija Januškevičiūtė) /  AVL Mundo, Atelier van Lieshout, NL / Bradwolff Projects, Amsterdam

performers: Yurie Umamoto, Elisabeth Raymond & Artemise Ploegaerts / supported by Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunst, Mondriaan Fonds
/ photo credits: Nick Chesnaye

The performative sculpture ‘Spell Action #1’ in my ongoing ‘Spell Action’ series (2019-)*. Each ‘Spell Action’ work relates to, and questions a specific institutional art space, on which it paradoxically also depends itself to be completed. As ‘Spell Action exposes and plays with its own framing, it simultaneously suggests alternative narratives. It aims to fix and unfix temporary spatial boundaries in order to find new ways to negotiate and share institutional space and its power to validate. As the performers manipulate the sculpture, they shape a sequence of geometrical forms or draft-like spaces within the exhibition space, inviting or forcing the audience to move along. The performance aims to reveal, explore and shift possibilities and tensions between the guiding powers at play between sculpture, performers, institutional space and audience. *The configurations of ‘Spell Action #1’ are derived from the building of the Contemporary Art Center (CAC) in Vilnius, Lithuania. text by Richtje Reinsma

half hitch

Half hitch, 2016, performance, duration: 00:20 min, Suns and Stars, Rietveld Huis Cordemeyer Apeldoorn / Valkhof Museum Nijmegen (curated by Flos Wildschut & Jessica Helbach) in 2022
performer: Yurie Umamoto / supported by Mondriaan Fonds / photo credits: Peter Cox, Flip Franssen

Sculptural performance as a research of extension based on the ‘Zig-Zag’ chair by Gerrit Rietveld design (1934) / performance duration 10 -15 min project review:

Two bowlines

Two Bowlines (under a strain), 2015, installation/ video performance, Rijksakademie/ Polyhedral Crystals, performance,
duration: 00:20 min, Work Space Brussels / Kaaitheater
performer Yurie Umamoto / supported by: Mondriaan Fonds (MF), Lithuanian Culture Funds, Work Space Brussels (WSB)

During Rijksakademie residency (2014-2015), Butkute started to translate sculpture into different mediums. The movement they introduced in her practice started to change the sculpture itself. Over the course of the years she created a new medium in her practice that she called ‘sculptural performance’, a new art tool where objects/sculptures and space direct the movement. She uses the primal efforts of movements such as grounding, falling, jumping, rising, sinking, a process close to creating her ceramic sculptures.

swinging sleeve

Swinging Sleeve, 2017, performance,
duration 00:15 min, Bradwolff Projects Amsterdam/ Intersections (Art Rotterdam) performers: Roos van Berkel & Tashi Iwaoka / supported by Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunst / photo credits: Bradwolff Projects