Gimbutas Street Band is a collaborative poetic and music performance and window installation by Award-winning US poet and writer Eileen Myles, Lithuanian curator Juste Kostikovaitė and Lithuanian artist, poet and art critic Laima Kreivytė. The work is conceived as an imagined conversation with late Lithuanian archaeologist and anthropologist Maria Gimbutas, known for her theory of a peaceful, egalitarian, nature-respecting matristic society of the Neolithic Europe, that preceded patriarchal Indo-European warrior societies who keep dominating imaginations of the past and influence our present. The intention of the Gimbutas Street Band is to occupy public space and temporarily change the existing street name from Jogaila – a Lithuanian grand duke and a king of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, who converted Lithuania from paganism to Christianity in 1387 – to Gimbutas, in tribute to the feminist icon and scholar who began her life and lived some of her formative years of childhood in a building on the street. Gimbutas Street Band will destabilise the predictably gendered urban situation of Vilnius street signage. In their performance, the ghost of Marija Gimbutas herself is encouraged to incant, wail and disrupt daily pedestrian traffic and generally make a profound comedic feminist spectacle of the momentarily-improved historic and long-standing patriarchal condition of Vilnius.

Laima Kreivytė (b. 1972 in Vilnius) is an interdisciplinary artist, curator and writer based in Vilnius, and a founding member of the queer feminist artists’ collective Cooltūristės. Kreivytė has published two books of poetry: Sapfo skai(s)tykla (Sappho’s Purgatorial Library, 2013) and Artumo aritmetika (Intimate Arithmetic, 2019) and compiled books about artists Marija Teresė Rožanskaitė, Jurga Barilaitė and Kęstutis Zapkus. Kreivytė has curated a number of exhibitions in Lithuania and abroad including Baltic Mythologies at the 3rd Prague Biennale (2007); the Lithuanian pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale (2009); M/A\G/M\A. Body and Words in the Works of Italian and Lithuanian Women Artists at the National Gallery of Arts in Vilnius (2017), and the National Centre for Graphic Arts, Rome (2018). 

Eileen Myles (b. 1949 in Cambridge, Massachusetts) is a New York and Marfa, Texas based poet, novelist and art journalist whose practice of vernacular first-person writing has become a touchstone for the identity-fluid internet age. Pathetic Literature, an anthology of the literature of feeling wrong, which they edited, was released by Grove Press in 2022, followed by the poetry collection “Working Life”, in April 2023. Their fiction includes Chelsea Girls (1994), Cool for You (2000), Inferno (a poet’s novel) (2010) and Afterglow (2017). Their writing on art was gathered in the volume The Importance of Being Iceland: Travel Essays in Art (2009). Books of poetry include Evolution (2018) and I Must Be Living Twice: New and Selected Poems 1975–2014. They take pictures which they’ve shown at Bridget Donahue & in Provincetown at Schoolhouse Gallery. Their super-8 road film The Trip is available on YouTube. 

Justė Kostikovaitė (b. 1980 in Vilnius) is an independent curator who shapeshifts between being an instigator of placemaking, sustainability and community engagement projects. In 2021, she launched the House of Histories exhibition space at the Lithuanian National Museum.. Kostikovaitė is passionate about various formats of collective knowledge exchange and has initiated several artist residency projects, such as AIROOM in London and Vilnius, and MaloniojiAIR in Vilnius and Berlin, among others. While serving as a Lithuanian Cultural Attaché in the UK, she worked closely with UK art institutions, including Delfina Foundation, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Collective Gallery in Edinburgh, CCA Derry~Londonderry, and Somerset House Artists Studios, where she established long-standing collaboration models. Her recently curated projects are Skin & Shell by Nikita Kadan at the Lewben Foundation in Vilnius and Roots to Routes at Manifesta 13 in Marseille.

Performance sponsors


Performance short video:

Video by Vytautas Tinteris


Photos by Andrej Vasilenko