We meet the artist in his hometown Vilnius in 2018, our host having made the arrangements for what we think will be a studio visit. Augustas is coming over to pick us up, which is a nice gesture. He then takes us for a short drive, parks the car in an indistinctive street, presents a pair of rubber boots and tells us we can only go one at a time. In turn, we put on the boots and are taken to the riverside, down its slippery slope, and then gently ushered into the old sewerage pipe at the bottom. Inside of what turns out to be his graduation work, a comfortable hammock offers us a perfectly framed view on the flowing river. Augustas is there, waiting patiently while we let things sink in.
Upon his first real encounter with the premises of P/////AKT, in the fall of 2019, it immediately becomes clear that the adjacent building site is something to be worked with. As is often the case in his practice, Augustas Serapinas likes to reflect upon the surrounding context of the space he’s invited to do a project – the space usually an art space, the context something other than that. The work to be done, as it turned out, is the real deal. The work, as real as it is, is also a facsimile. To make things a bit more complicated still: a facsimile of something that doesn’t exist, but at some point will come into existence – but differently.
The privately owned lot next door from P/////AKT has been awaiting its new destination since 2007. Work – the gentrification of this rare little fringe – has now finally begun: a five-story building consisting of apartments and commercial/office spaces on the ground floor should be finished by the spring of 2021. Van Wijnen, the main contractor refers to it as 20 Apartments, or simply Zeeburgerpad 54. At the moment they are building a two-layered parking garage below street level – in a way the stage on which Serapinas has designed his proposal for P/////AKT and which is mirroring the yet-to-be-built ground floor of the new building inside the exhibition space. Leading up to the exhibition, P/////AKT has been negotiating with the owner and contractor in order to obtain the necessary information and technical drawings. P/////AKT also hired brick workers to execute the construction, not unlike like a contractor hiring a subcontractor for a certain stage in the building process.
As we by now strongly believe, Serapinas considers the process of preparation and production of the work leading up to its current state, to be a material, a part of the final piece on view, which is an artistic production inside an exhibition space. At the same time it is a living construction site. The distinction between the two is diffuse, which means things are continuously oscillating between two realities and will keep doing so throughout the duration of the exhibition.
P/////AKT especially wishes to thank Bram and Marcel (klussenbedrijf Bonole) and Maikel Monde (Van Wijnen).
For the time being we will follow the protocol for cultural spaces and kindly request you to do the same. Please consider the following before and during your visit;
- Refrain from visiting when you are experiencing (minor) health issues such as a head cold, a runny nose, a cough, a sore throat, a raised temperature or fever and/or shortness of breath
- Because of its specific set-up the exhibitions will allow a maximum of 5 visitors inside the space at the same time. By visitors in this case we mean individuals, couples, roommates and small families of two or three people
- You are required to always keep a minimum distance of 1,5 meters from other visitors and staff;
- For visiting the toilet and/or S/////ALON we require you to thoroughly clean your hands upon entering and leaving with the provided soap/disinfectant. We will make sure that all door handles and such will be properly cleaned after each visit
- Hand-outs, sadly, cannot be left behind for reuse. Please take them with you or dispose of them in the designated bin
In general we think it will not be necessary to make a reservation, so do feel free to drop by during the announced opening hours. However, we would appreciate it if you’d announce your visit through Facebook (pm or Facebook event) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Upon entering we will ask you to provide us with a phone number and/or email address in case we need to communicate any contaminations connected to our space.