For a couple of months nothing. Then an odour of scorched rubber, burnt toast, or maybe a musty ashtray, several weeks unwashed. None of them fit, really, but you look for counterparts to what you remember, and you do so through your senses, not so much words. I breathe in a little of the air that lingers in the exterior nearest to my body. Yeah, still the same. A smell that is not actually there, and some counterparts that do not correspond to it. It’s a misrecognition taking place within myself – neurons still can’t reconcile what has been with what still longs to be remembered. Olfaction is in that corporeal thicket full of contradictions that neither the centenarian psychoanalysts nor critical theories have time to think about. A great deal of text had been devoted to ephemeral Selves, a great deal of text to external power structures. As a child, I was taught that to read well is to read fast, to rush into spotting causal relationships, anchoring them within an internal catalogue. As soon as necessary, the catalogue will throw its full weight onto material previously unseen. It will identify it, turn it into something already read – saving text, saving time.
Perhaps that is why for a long time I couldn’t understand why someone would ever want to draw. Half a century ago, one French art theorist was convinced that people ‘devour’ artworks. Artworks are final, can be scrutinised from all angles, picked up, locked away, whereas texts remain mobile. For the theorist, texts were like those corporeal Selves – blind spots for oneself, opacities for others. Since texts do not withhold desire for themselves, it overflows again and again.
aš tik noriu viso viso tavo dėmesio, man tik reikia viso viso mano dėmesio
But today I’m reading fast. Texts are becoming more and more like transparent systems whose rules I have diligently sought to learn. Desires not yet named, they would undermine proper ethical posture. This posture has seeped into me, as sets upon sets of counterparts. I hope it settled on that socially-conditioned surface of a person, resembling a grapheme, less a contour. I hope it has not entered the air that now tickles my nose, permeated by the scents that are not there, scents that could easily be an ill-advised CdG range from a time yet to come. Out of there, I may yet be able to wring out the dregs. For I did not quite believe the assumption of another French philosopher about the all-pervading shadow of power, and that heavy *continually updated* volume of books written by those who believe it a little more. As for drawings, I’ve been looking at them a fair bit recently – they are my exercise in sensory recuperation.
Thanks to: Laura Kaminskaitė, Antanas Gerlikas, Monika Kalinauskaitė, Agnė Jokšė, Monika Janulevičiūtė, Eglė Trimailovaitė, Antanas Dombrovskij, National Gallery of Art, Vilnius and Lewben Art Foundation
Editorial program is supported by Lithuanian Council for Culture and Vilnius Municipality.