Second Skin
at Editorial, Vilnius, 2018
All objects were made in collaboration with Andrea Zucchini

Photos: Ugnius Gelguda

Counting Skin

by Monika Kalinauskaitė

First skin, second skin, third skin, fourth, fifth – here I am, counting skin. Peeling it like an envelope from myself, thoughts, things, thick and thin.

First skin. The born skin. The skin of rails and tracks. Wherever you go, the streetcasts its shadow on you. Mud is thicker than water. Impurity transfers energy. So we removed it. We made the room immune to all currents, safe from influence and doubt. Please leave the room alone. The space has suffered enough. There is always somebody hiding and grasping on straws, somebody passing or humming. Entire perspectives populated with disappointment and hope. We carved the room out of the city and somebody put up a tent on it, then a hand passed by and left
some writings. The floor smells of trains. Trains leave traces on your first skin.

Second skin. Newer, better, more connective, more immediate. Working with substance and form, with a body shaped by a body, is the joy of keeping all channels open. Deception hits a wall and stops. There is a life enveloping us all, engaged in constant loving of matter. It shapes plastics, fabrics, fluids and solids into bodies that serve us: agents, shelters, traps and tools. They bounce and mingle. Each object marks the limit of comfort, the beginning of an end. The industry is a gentle touch. The world of matter – our second skin.

The third skin folds into a mouth, a soft pocket of voice and potential. Passing something along once in a while. Clenching shut once the time comes and waiting, waiting, waiting. A lip and a gap, and then silence – right before language explodes like a bomb and pulls our wires apart. Could you pass me a fist? Do I even know where they keep them? The last one I had was assembled just yesterday, but now, how do I come back from being born, not attached? The third skin is there, with other spare parts – including a shy and elegant smile.

Fourth skin, naked like water. The skin that does not know. This skin is a blurred filter, through which we try to grasp our choices and forms. The genesis of movement. The square root of my house. Axis of pain. Nothing I can offer to the world would cure a blind dog or dissolve the presence of father. Fourth skin – twice the trouble. A junkyard of creative skins set as our meeting point.

Fifth skin, sixth, seventh skin – classic counting all the way down to concrete and bone. A tiny, fragile message hatching from its silicone cocoon. The skin within. Eternal, endless, unavoidable skin. Skin of the screen. The broadcast is not coherent, but it is clear: I can make out the language. I can grasp an intention. I can sense some melancholy and doubt, a predestined ending somewhere by the door. That is more than enough to make an exhibition, but still less than half of what goes on in any given landscape. A suffocating envelope of feeling, left in a room that we left alone. Pick it up and seal it with closure. Nothing is as difficult to count as skin.

The exhibition was partly funded by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania and Lithuanian Council for Culture.