Mantas Lesauskas: Slipcover
Solo pop-up design exhibition by Mantas Lesauskas
We are happy to present our second solo pop-up exhibition in the Showroom!
This time you will discover the series of design objects "Slipcover" by designer Mantas Lesauskas. This is a series of furniture pieces created over two years, inviting reflection on the challenges of the last years of the pandemic and the anxiety of the ongoing war in Ukraine. The objects in the exhibition feature a recurring motif of draped fabric that, in various forms, invites us to reflect on the current issues of the past years. In the face of war, we protect not only our lives and those of our loved ones, but also our personal and collective cultural heritage from enemies and invaders, and books remain one of the most effective means of passing on this heritage, which is why the image of a temporarily draped and preserved culture is the focus of this exhibition.
The exhibition will feature new and never-before-seen limited edition furniture by Mantas Lesauskas that analyse everyday, intimate life amidst books - a book table, shelves for small books, side tables, shelves for art albums, armchairs with additional sleaves for books.
Mantas Lesauskas is a graduate of the Department of Design at the Vilnius Academy of Arts. In his earlier projects he pursued conceptual and social design theories. His Bin Toy, Millegome, Eurofurniture (2008), and It’s Also a Table (2009) expressed the importance of ecological issues and questioned the value of newly created objects. In 2011, he was awarded a Licentiate of Arts after defending an art project and thesis entitled ‘Narratives of Nostalgia in Design Objects’. He is also an associate professor at the Design Department at Vilnius Academy of Arts.
Exhibition supported by: Kuro Aparatūra
Gallery patrons: Renata and Rolandas Valiūnai
Gallery supporters: Vilnius City Municipality, Lietuvos Rytas, Vilma Dagilienė, Roma Puišienė, Rasa Juodviršienė, Romas Kinka, Ekskomisarų biuras, MailerLite, Plieno Spektras
Design: Taktika Studio
Until recently, life consisted of slow, sunny days that passed inside. They reminded me of a childhood spent on the glossy pages of magazines. Lying on the floor, I wandered the emptiness of ornate interiors that housed future strangers. It was like a ghost story that did not exist yet - beautiful, eternal, and mysterious objects that promised a sweet future left for a grown woman to attain.
Is it worth enumerating how many things have changed since then? As adults, we ought to get used to the fingers of reality plunged into our innermost selves. Objects no longer seem full of riddles, except sometimes lacking function. Events burst out of stories, and our days do whatever they want, pounding every minute on everything we hold on to. The most essential interiors today are no longer the lustrous, but ones that have been swept away with all their ghosts, lying in piles of shards and rubble. And just a few years ago, our homes became the waiting rooms where we held our breath until we could finally touch our planet again. Nothing is more sobering than encountering the grand narratives, nothing more revealing than the significance of their tiniest factors. By enjoying the pleasures, propping each other's elbows on the tables, and creating surfaces for resting and dancing, we form the sensitive material of everyday life where we will not be afraid to disappear. Caring objects can tell us when to despair and when to embrace, and we cannot hide from them what we can fool people with. They will submerge first in the void where we will one day cease to exist.
Mantas Lesauskas' furniture reminds us that design is the love language of objects. In this exhibition, it is deceptively firm, without immediate betrayal of its intentions. Silver-plated aluminium, limed oak, parachute pleats - a militaristic Gothic that seems to leave no room for tenderness. Yet the soul of these objects is subtle: they are the readers' furniture on which the stories rest. Their stark structures and rich materials legitimise the experiences that separate life from survival. The discipline that binds them together comes not from the need to defend but from the desire to nurture, to have something to lean on in every chapter of life. When we surrender to these things, we become the softest parts of them. We can read the titles of books from all sides, strip the table in search of its legs, try to pull a duck out from under a shelf, and do other little things to which we do not typically attach much interpretation. We can fill the crevices of the armchairs with our own little perversions and stock up for the next winter of pain when there is nothing left to draw from. The soulfully shimmering curtain in the exhibition is like a thin line you only experience in free fall or when you watch a mystery end. These carefully honed and deliberated objects prepare to live on in various colours and with different surfaces, to speak to future strangers in a new love language of objects.
And we, the strangers of the present, can become ghosts in this false everyday life, engaging in dreamy games where we once had it all. We all shine wistfully; we all can erect monuments to domesticity. In the work of Mantas Lesauskas, we see the emptiness of our own pampered interiors, which we can fill with the smallest narratives, the most common experiences. We can seize reality by the fingers, clutching our innermost selves.