Andrius Mulokas and the Silence of Dust Gathering While Looking the Other Way


It's an elevated space in the city centre — ground floor, first floor, second floor — the third floor is cool with air conditioning and smells of something safe — whiteness all over, and a grid on the floor — how perfectly tidy these rectangles are — Andrius Mulokas made them by laying down A4 paper in a checkered pattern and sprinkling talc over them — he then removes the paper and a grid of white powder remains on the vinyl floor — Macklin says something about the Commercial Triangle and the city centre — from that moment all I can see on the floor is the urban grid, blocks of buildings, gaps of urban fabric as temporary layers of powder — some rectangles have already been stepped upon with a socked foot — I guess my life at the moment has the same fragile order as these powdered frames — how tidy it all is until you drop your keys or a person walks in unannounced — Andrius speaks softly into a microphone — his voice is coming from an amplifier behind him — it's so strange to have a person speaking to you softly in your face and his voice coming from the other end of the room — a pair of pink Adidas socks appears — a connection is made — the powder moves, the body moves — he makes a new pattern of powder rectangles next to George's feet — the powder falls softly on the floor, like ceiling dust during an earthquake — the bottle is empty now, he drops it on the floor too — he removes the paper, leaving behind blocks of dustless gray — the fluorescent lamps are so white — debris is gathering slowly: a shoe there, a bottle here, a bag, a plastic sheet, the microphone — distractions, but what for — the music is meditative, like a sermon from a trusted priest in slow motion — this room is the bottom of a bright pit gathering the dust of a life high above — the sun is down, the sun is down — we are tasting the ash of someone else's volcano — we are the white sediment of a saline solution of tears — a friend arrives late in Pride attire — Andrius forces him to read a text as he carries him on his shoulders — his feet are tangled in the microphone cord — a constant feeling of muted threat — he's threatening us with his apparent naivety — distracted again by a beautiful tall child — ballet’s only contribution to a person’s development is not a sense of discipline but elegant arms for a lifetime — a dry branch against the wall, his fingers stiff in the air — he asks a woman to paint his hair, and she obliges — pink, green, blue and yellow get mixed, ending up in a brownish blob of once-blond hair — he talks about how he wants to change the origin of things — to change things to the point you cannot tell where they're from —I'm thinking of wandering bodies without roots — origin as a privilege — he pirouettes clumsily and slams his knee cap into the floor — the audience asks him to dance with his stick — he removes his clothes and wraps a shirt around his waist — the music changes, he is frantic — dancing around like a tribal warrior, exhausting himself — he breaks the stick on his left thigh — blood glistens, dust rises — he can't hold it for long and collapses — he asks us to leave whenever we want — we are all about to, but he moves again — he begins improvising on the floor with his eyes closed — a landscape of pristine talc rectangles scattered with debris — and a slender hairless Caucasian body writhing and blind — he feels his way around as he floats — I can swear he's floating in the air like a Chinese dragon — but it's the floor, it's just the floor, and the twilight fading away — flesh slamming again, skin slapping the building — and what a release it all must be to be oblivious of the past — what an excruciating happiness to be origin-less, a ripe mandragora root running free across the steppe — the corpse of an albino whale is sinking into the depths of the sea — a hazy saline solution of tears — it slams soundlessly head-first into the gray sand that is the vinyl floor — he has landed in peace, and we are back in the gutter.

Photo by the author for und. Athens.

Text by Kiriakos Spirou

The performance Matter of Matters by Andrius Mulokas took place on 09 June 2018 at Sub Rosa Space, as part of Back to Athens 6 festival. Read more here.

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