04/14 – 05/13/2022
Algirdas Jakas and Elglė Ruibytė: “Hermit Crab”

In order to survive, the fragile exoskeleton animal must find shelter in the shells of other organisms or objects. The hermit crawls about in search of a hiding-place. The quest is competitive, so it may have to settle in old mussel shells or even rubbish that has long since sunk to the very bottom of the ocean; the aim is nothing but to protect its brittle body.

Landing on polymorphous surfaces, the authors’ works mix together by squeezing their bodies into each other: they are each other’s safety mediums.

Algirdas Jakas’s anxiety-ridden objects are instruments of hypochondriacal self-diagnosis: embedded in their own exoskeletons, his drawings hint at an investigative yet dangerous radiation, piercing the bones like a self-made drill and analysing their psychogeological layers. Meanwhile, Eglė Ruibytė’s objects – so-called “void fillers”, commonly used to fill parcel boxes – speak of global processes and trajectories in which the notional vulnerable bodies or objects leave only their fallen “armour”, resting and replicating what they are supposed to protect. At first glance, these objects look like mass-produced artefacts, but on closer inspection they reveal manual work, lung air, errors, and even hidden messages.

This is the duo’s first collaborative project presenting their work in a gallery space. The architecture of Atletika, where the works are exhibited and interact, hints at the building’s original purpose. The surviving outline of a school’s physical education hall alludes to a socio-cultural discourse: disciplining, oppressive and competitive, yet at the same time a protecting enclosure, isolating from potential dangers.

For the last three years, the duo has been working between Hamburg and Vilnius. Both artists graduated in Graphic Art from the Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts and in Sculpture from the Hamburg University of Fine Arts (HFBK Hamburg).

Using materials which are sometimes associated with hobbies or therapy, Algirdas Jakas combines the aesthetics of drawing with organic and often physiological volumetric forms. The author explores the traits of care and collective anxiety and the principles of self-help. Eglė Ruibytė is a visual artist and graphic designer who combines these two disciplines in her multi-layered creative work. Delving into the technologies of industrial labour and searching for functional metaphors, she constructs mass-produced objects partly by means of manual work. In this way, she leaves deliberate space for errors that speak of humanness within the limits of an industrial machine.

Opening evening: 13 April 2022, 6pm

Exhibition opening dates: 14/04/–13/05/2022 Wednesdays to Fridays 4-7 pm, Saturdays 1-5 pm.

Gallery Atletika, Vitebsko St. 21, Vilnius

Curator: Milda Dainovskytė

Exhibition architect: Vytautas Gečas

Designers: Medeina Musteikytė and Dirk Verweij

Translator: Alexandra Bondarev

Special thanks to: Kristina Tamelytė, Leidykla „Hubris“, „SUNPOR Kunststoff“.

Organiser: Lithuanian Interdisciplinary Artists’ Association. Activities of LIAA are supported by Lithuanian Council for Culture and Vilnius City Municipality. Main information partner – 15min.lt. Creation of works funded by Lithuanian Council for Culture.


Photo: Laurynas Skeiskiela