Lithuanian Culture Institute
Lithuanian Culture Guide, Visual Arts

Augustas Serapinas

Augustas Serapinas, Blue Pen, 2018. Photo by Max Slaven

Augustas Serapinas (born 1990) is an installation artist whose works uniquely revise site-specific and institutional practices of criticism. In Serapinas’s works, the experience of new and often otherwise hard-to-access spaces turns into subtle commentaries on space and interactive installations – which provide the conditions for a performative act. His interventions recall aspects of historical as well as social and institutional structures of space that we have either forgotten or wish to forget (recently, he has increasingly targeted institutions). The stimulus for his creative work often arises from encounters with people active in that space, their personal histories and their personal experience of that space. Spaces created by Serapinas are designed to provide opportunities for interaction and dialogue between people. 

For his work ‘Blue Pen’ (2018) at the David Dale Gallery in Glasgow, the artist turned to the neighbours of the gallery space – a ladder and platform company Clow Group Ltd., a more than one hundred-year-old family business. Serapinas talked to Clow employees and collected their memories about their past projects. One of them was captured in a drawing by the owner of Clow, which was then used to make the exhibited structure. Two of these specially made works are complemented with past Clow projects and templates in the exhibition. One story collected by the artist concerned the way in which, forty years ago, Clow produced a system of bridges and access points for a commercial bakery. One of the observation platforms hung above a large industrial mixing tub used in the making of dough. Having installed the platform, a Clow engineer came to perform a check on it. Interested in the process below, he leaned over the railings to examine the mixing tub. But as soon as he leaned over, a blue ball-point pen fell out of his shirt pocket straight into the dough being mixed below. After this incident, Clow had to pay a financial compensation for ten thousand blue-coloured bread pieces and never again received any orders from that baker.  

Serapinas studied sculpture of the Vilnius Academy of Arts and at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. He took part in the 58th Venice Biennale (2019) and the 6th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art (2015); and has held solo exhibitions and exhibited site-specific projects at Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna, Apalazzo Gallery in Brescia, Emalin Gallery in London, Basement Roma project space in Rome, P/////AKT exhibition space in Amsterdam, SALTS in Basel. He has participated in group exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Centre in Vilnius, Kumu Art Museum in Tallinn, and the Museum of Contemporary Art (M HKA) in Antwerp. In 2014, Serapinas was awarded the Annual Debut Prize by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania. 

Emalin Gallery (London): 

Apalazzo Gallery (Brescia):