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The Metaphysics of the Runner

Conceptual Lithuanian-born artists Ugnius Gelguda and Neringa Černiauskaitė first started collaborating in 2009 with their joint body of work taking a keen interest in visual memory and how it can be manipulated through use of various mediums. They recently showed at NADA New York with Galerija Vartai and are currently on view at 321 Gallery in Brooklyn. Below they present their new works in a very compelling narrative about the metaphysics of the runner.

The Metaphysics of the Runner, Ugnius Gelguda & Neringa Černiauskaitė, exposition detail at 321 Gallery, Brooklyn, New York, 2014 Street level. Medium shot frames a busy stretch of city sidewalk in front of contemporary shop windows where passers-by walk briskly alone and in groups, chatting, making phone calls, carrying shopping bags. Someone pauses outside a shop below a large window sign: SNEAKERS. Behind the wide, glass pane, single training shoes, each displayed on an individual shelf, are arranged like jewels. Electric blue, salmon pink, warm grey, cool grey, fluorescent orange, and maroon details float on a tide of white leather. The shopper’s eyes roam over the display. Reflections of the cobbled European street and passers-by shimmer on the glass, melding shoes and scenery. A green park is visible in the far background. Suddenly, the runner appears in the glass, darting among cars and people, then disappears again, absorbed by the street. The window shopper pulls away from the window, moves on.* Move, follow the runner. 321. From the future to the past. 123 Running is a transcendence. Today, in the figure of the runner it is a transcendence of the biological constraints, of the singularity of the body.

Ugnius Gelguda & Neringa Černiauskaitė in collaboration with Jeannine Han The Metaphysics of the Runner, exposition detail at NADA NY (represented by Galerija VARTAI), New York, 2014 Sweat out (of) yourself on the running track travelling through rendered landscapes of after Nature. Sip your Soylent, don’t worry about lunch anymore. Formula is actually better. Natural isn’t always best.

Ugnius Gelguda & Neringa Černiauskaitė After Nature, HD video, color, sound, 3’53 min, 321 Gallery, Brooklyn, New York, 2014 You won’t leave a trace for the future archeology. Let it be the task for the obsolete, for the unenhanced. Your self-cleaning synthetic garments will evaporate entering the already-toxic cloud. You are running towards a cloud of disembodied minds connected together through a synthetic neocortex. In the cloud. But that is only at the horizon, you have a long way to run, your Flyknit Nikes will take you there, will let your feet breathe as long as they require breathing. You’re running on a track, selecting moods and landscapes on your screen ahead of you.

Remember the last time you ran in a park? The sound of a branch cracking bellow your foot? Those amorphous shapes created by Nature – they fit so well on your wall, the trophies from the past. Precious as porcelain. Resin is your porcelain, Soylent – mother’s milk.

Ugnius Gelguda & Neringa Černiauskaitė After Effects, HD video, color, sound, 0’31 min, 2014 “Elevator” music accompany your rhythmic moves on the running track. Sounds attached to words, words attached to titles. Ray Kurzweil’s sonic imagination about the future inscribed in the K-2000 synthesizer series. Move with the “Technology 1”, “Martian Subway”. “Drone Harmonics” sound ominous today, “Organic” – anecdotal. Move to post-organic, transcend it with your Nikes and protein cocktails.

Blackout, New York, 2012 Will this Singularity moment look like a black-out in a metropolis? A moment of total disorientation for those not equipped with enhanced vision. They say that during Super-Storm Sandy, all the New York’s downtown rats gathered to the center, escaping from the waters of Hudson and East River. They knew their way in the pitch-dark streets and drainage of the city while we held on our technological prosthesis to be able to move an inch without falling. Rats don’t need to run to transcendence, we have already transformed them to mutants. Sweat your way through the presence until only the scent of rubber is left in the gym. This is the metaphysics of the runner. *Perri MacKenzie, A Running Composition, 2014.

The Metaphysics of the Runner is on view at 321 Gallery in Brooklyn (321 Washington Avenue) through June 15. For more information, check: To learn more about Ugnius Gelguda and Neringa Černiauskaitė, please visit:


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