Emalin is pleased to present a solo presentation of new works by the Lithuanian artist Augustas Serapinas (b. 1990).
The presented works reanimate disappearing and dilapidated Vienkiemis: outlying, simple-roofed wooden sheds built in the 1920s-30s across rural parts of Lithuania. Since joining the European Union in 2004, Lithuania has experienced a continuous stream of ever larger segments of the population emigrating to both Western European countries and urban centres in pursuit of economic opportunities. As a result, many Vienkiemis that served a multitude of purposes for the local communities – as storage for agricultural equipment or for residential purposes – have been abandoned and have begun to deteriorate. Threatened by total decomposition or demolition, Serapinas acquired three of the disappearing sheds located on the outskirts of Vilnius. Before dismantling them, the artist photographed the final window reflections and later collaborated with local workers skilled in glass staining to reproduce these scenes on the disassembled windowpanes.
As fragments of a historical building tradition, these objects interrogate the nature and consequences of the ‚free‘ movement of people and goods promised by economic and political allegiance-building. The Vienkiemis allow Serapinas to look at both dying professions and obsolete spaces. As examples of a specific material tradition and resourcefulness borne of necessity, the once functional space of the Vienkiemis is decontextualised in a way that opens up the possibility of rethinking how space organises our bodies, encounters and consciousness.