Mindaugas Ažušilis “Masculinity”
Mindaugas Ažušilis, who has recently published a book dedicated to the compulsory, objectified Lithuanian happiness, likes to subtly mock the clichés of amateur photography and put their messages into quotes. He addresses Lithuanian obligatory masculinity in a similar manner. Lithuanian, of course. Again seemingly open, of course, but in reality quite ironic. The photographs feature typical attributes of hegemonic masculinity – muscles of the nude body, sports, self-satisfied looks, the firmness of the subject’s self. Yet something makes it hard to believe it… For instance, that muscular guy is a bit too relaxed, somewhat saggy, placed too low in the image, leaning against a heater covered with planks in a flabby way, but the worst thing is that he is close to another man. The rampant homophobia in Lithuania has poisoned physical contact and tainted male communion with fear. Meanwhile, the photographer betrays the self-conscious posers once again, delivering a blow below the belt.
Mindaugas born in 1987 in Vilnius, Lithuania. In 2014 he graduated Photography and Media Art (MA) in Vilnius Academy of Arts and 2009 – 2012 (BA) photography in Vilnius College of Design.
A word from the experts / His work takes a bit the opposite of that, disturbing, his compatriot Rimaldas Vikšraitis, which showed in Arles in 2009 human decrepitude of his small Lithuanian village, its miserable, his obsession, his freaks, its unfortunate… For the young Ažušilis, presented at the Paris Circulations festival, one can perfectly know happiness in the small Baltic country. Aged 26 years, working in series (as in pretty much essential to be considered), after working on an unexpected subject, mould, he framed his fellow citizens in their daily lives. The decor, cars, apartment, furniture, leisure everything can breathe decrepit, OCD, kitsch, but inside it feels good. A conclusion that is not necessarily reflected in new statistics fashion on Gross National Happiness (Denmark and Costa Rica lead the pack ahead Lithuania) … but a new talent to watch in a small country with a craving particular for the photo, in line with the patriarch Jonas Mekas. Art resource ArtAujourdhui.info, 2013/03.
Mindaugas Ažušilis exhibition “Masculinity” opening at “POST” gallery (Laisvė av. 51 a.) September 4 6:00 p.m. Exhibition will be on display till September 20.
Open: II – V 12.oo a.m. – 7.oo p.m.; VI 13.oo a.m.- 6.oo p.m.