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Photo: personal archive

The Last Drop

 

Iron
2022

The sculpture “The Last Drop” is a provocative work imbued with a punk aesthetic. The work’s imagery is inspired by the song “Kniedytas Ploščius” (EN The Riveted Raincoat) by the post-modern punk rock band “Lapkričio dvidešimtosios orkestras” (EN Orchestra of the Twentieth of November), in which a mythical “motorised protagonist” has business on the ice of the River Styx. The object itself is a pair of men’s underwear with a triangular cut, made of welded metal scraps. The work refers to a feeling of discomfort, to a situation that is familiar to many, but which is not accepted to be spoken out loud. Of course, one should not look at the work solely in terms of its literal meaning. Through an ironic approach, the themes of make-believe, the disguise of correctness and the constant striving to be “comfortable” are touched upon. It takes a critical look at the representation of the so-called “influencers”, as well as the art elite, as “perfumed, clean and unspoilt”, and at the status quo position in today’s political and cultural context. Given that the sculpture was created specifically for the ArtVilnius art fair (where “Volfas Engelman” remains one of the main sponsors, even in the context of the war), this was a deliberate criticism. Behind the attempt not to show your position, there is often a desire for personal gain and a lack of courage, while the pretty packaging is just a surface covered in white thread. The title of the work can also be understood as “the last drop of patience”, as a call to “wash your underwear”.

The visual side of the work is inspired by a post-apocalyptic aesthetic. The oversized men’s underwear is welded together from tiny scraps of metal and looks as if it has been pieced together from tiny scraps of fabric, the crumbs of civilisation. The surface of the work is “sewn” from iron – like some kind of sculptural textile. The rust and unpolished welding points are reminiscent of the wreckage of military equipment left on the battlefield, but they also speak of temporariness and remind us that everything we have can be very fragile.

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