Jovita Sakalauskaitė – Kurnaz “Needles & Pins“

Jovita Sakalauskaitė Kurnaz: “Needles & Pins, or a Wall of Pins. What kind of creature is a human being? According to the dictionary*, the word ‘creature’ comes from the Latin creare, ‘to create’, and therefore it means something that has been made, created, a live being… I also create creatures similar to humans. My creatures are people, like me, you, him, her, who have at least once in their life lived through some super-extreme emotions. Whether the emotions are positive or negative, when they are very strong and/or long-term, evidence that a person is experiencing them starts to show in the person’s face. Strong emotions distort the face, changing its proportions and from that minute it’s as if they stop the flow of life. At the height of these emotions the person becomes a creature: a new, different inhabitant of Earth.To feel, to experience, to drown in our emotions: these are gifts of Nature, abilities that are already encoded into us when we are born, hidden in the secret recesses of the soul. It takes a long time for us to learn to know ourselves, to express ourselves, to present ourselves, to control ourselves. From this vortex of uncontrollable feelings, the new-born creature is like an emotional cactus: stunted, strange, lonely.Routine micro-emotions, feelings and experiences that we inevitably live through every day do not affect us and those around us so strongly. However, our uncontrolled, impulsive, unbearable super-emotions tire us out, they hurt us and other people. It’s as if this cactus, this new-born creature pricks everyone with its needles, whoever tries to get near to it, to sympathise, to commiserate, to embrace. We slowly become a fossilised creature, until eventually the creature remains alone, all on its own for all time. Frozen in reflection of its own emotions.My creature-cactuses are genderless, colourless, not belonging to any particular social level or political party. They do not have any religion or faith, they will never be alive nor dead. They have just turned to stone somewhere along the line of their experiences. Each cactus is a familiar face, with the eyes and lips of someone near, and a fine pattern of venerable old wrinkles, expressions of my own emotions, “stuck together” into different configurations. Because emotions do not have neither a personal ID number, nor a nationality, nor a gender… Only a cactus’ grin.”