Dès Vu: The Awareness That This Will Become A Memory
On 24 January, Meno Niša gallery opens an exhibition of one of the most colourful painters of the young generation, Paulius Šliaupa.
“We walk through life sometimes ignorant of the way time moves around us. Unless you think, "Soon this moment will be gone," we are mostly present-oriented. But occasionally we do think that the moment we're in, this moment right now, will pass. It will fade into the past among childhood memories and what we ate for breakfast. Soon, this will become a memory.”” (The dictionary of Obscure Sorrows)
My creative strategy is similar to phenomenological research where I explore how we are immersed in every day situations by the light, sounds, materials, surfaces, and spaces. Every day I intuitively document moments, my video camera and sound recorder. This artistic strategy becomes like an extension of the senses, a visual and a sonar diary which strengthen the firsthand experience. When I collect many moments dense with experiences I spread them – I print out various shots from the videos and stick them to the walls of my room then start arranging them into a movie based on associations. Later I use those links to create a journey through various states of mind, a transition between the inner and the outer worlds, an abstract story. The time moves slowly in my videos, with a sense of melancholy, even though the separate shots are 15-20 seconds long. The images emerge in strange surrealistic ways as if in a flow-like mental state. There is a sense of anxious peace, melancholy, a feeling that we are saying goodbye to the moment while it is still happening. When I find the basic links connecting the images I juxtapose different spaces and create a soundscape which strengthen this poetical documentary.
Because I am originally a painter my way of editing is similar to my painting strategy – using different materials I slowly develop a structure, I grind it, overgrow it with paint, details, nuances, which altogether create a sense of dense time, when the clear memories submerge into the unconscious. In the assemblages I combine materials which have different connections with time – fast solidifying hot glue, a brush overgrown with paint, slowly drying and crumbling layer of chalk, glued and cracked sand and so on. For years I have painted painting with oil colors and the time was embedded as solid, firm layers now the surfaces of my works are different – the time is dissolved, they are made of little pieces of different materials as are combined the fragmented images in my videos.
Our eyes adapt to the images, they look for the things they have seen before and our ears hear that which they are used to hearing, our body is constantly filtering the world. Our senses are also getting weaker because of the ways we are used to hearing and seeing movies: comical music is playing before something funny happens, there are suggestions that we should be afraid before the horror has taken place, suggestions to be sad before the tragedy and so on. We react to these speculative patters without realizing that. These speculations develop an attitude, naiveness, an indifference to little details. This indifferent attitude is a global issue. Nothing is known beforehand and we wish to dispose of this unknown as quickly as possible.
To sum up, the process of creation that I described is fascinating because there are no fixed guidelines, „the truth“ or a story that one should follow. Nevertheless, there is a strong inner logic that emerges in the world that you are constructing – the logic of personal experience. When you grasp this logic then it becomes possible to modify it and to develop a new attitude towards the way we live and create. To learn again how to feel, see, and hear.