The JCDecaux Prize is an annual exhibition series established by CAC and JCDecaux in 2016, aiming to promote the works of young Lithuanian artists, their dissemination in Lithuania and abroad, and public interest in contemporary art. The one-time prize of 4000 euros established by JCDecaux is awarded to one artist or team participating in the exhibition for the originality and relevance of the presented work and its artistic expression.
“I remind myself that everything is language. I look around the worlds led by curiosity to explore them, trying to break away from them or pushing in deeper through their cracks, and only to discover new ones, that I give names and sprinkle with words as I get to know them. After all, by changing words, we change relationships – and therefore worlds?
The phenomena that can’t be fully expressed through human experience, I still let them inside me at least a little, through the retina, by smelling, touching them in order to turn them into experiences; speaking to these beings I address them with names that we, perhaps naively, believe to know. I am immersed in multi-layered relationships of hyper-objects, but even if I want to cross the atmosphere I have to carry substances and gases with me, a small particle of the atmosphere from which I cannot completely break away, which supports my pulsating life. Moving away from the globe for a moment it may appear that it is one world, one atmosphere, one humanity, but if you take a closer look you see that there are many bodies there, many beings, many subjective experiences, and therefore – worlds. We speak, but the substances speak to us, too.
Even unfathomable beings let us know they’re there with gestures, movements, degrees in the thermometer, wind speed, water currents, vibration. Substances, having their own differences and unique properties, in a way also broadcast their own textures, behind which our tongues get stuck, and their own language, which we can translate into human languages after recognising it. But here, too, we’re constantly faced with the problem of translation. Maybe we’re not always fully understood by each other?
Sometimes I stop listening to people’s language. In those moments, I follow a moving cloud of forms, looking through a moving crack between those different worlds. I start smelling the smallest particles, regardless of the words I have, I don’t call anything by name anymore.”
The exhibition “JCDecaux Prize 2020: The Words I Have” presents works by five artists dealing with human interrelationships and the human relationship to the non-human, the pulsation of beings and talking through different senses – not just verbally, as if stones rising from the mud were whispering covered in an ozone layer. A synchronous dance of creatures connected through their limbs collides with disciplining movements and signs that turn us all into beings dressed in identical uniforms. The artists will invite you to bury yourself in silk, smell fear, bounce into invisible boundaries with your own body or cross them at least with your thoughts. While we speak, substances speak, too. And vice versa.
The works of the young artists presented at the show provoke “consultation” with substances. It is not necessary for humans and non-humans to meet, but if that has already happened – as it sometimes does – we can try to make each other talk. But how does one not get deceived that giving a name to something does not yet make it theirs?