Currently, the main exhibition at MO Museum, Animal – Human – Robot, is supplemented not only by a comprehensive exhibition catalogue. The museum is also introducing a new poetry book, Animal that I Am (Not), published on the initiative of Danguolė Butkus, the founder of MO Museum. It is a book of exclusive poems as well as exceptional design.
“I wanted to find new ways to participate in the creative life of MO Museum. It is for this reason that the series of Viktoras’ films Through V. B. Perspective were born – visitors can watch them in the museum at the moment. For the same reason, this book appeared,” Butkienė says.
Aspiration to combine different art forms
“I was willing to find links between different types of art for a long time, so it was interesting how the topic of our current museum exhibition, Animal – Human – Robot, responded to the Lithuanian poetry. I began looking for poems about animals in my poetry library, and later, after Palmira Mikėnaitė joined the idea, more of them appeared,” Butkienė asserts.
She also admits that the most difficult part searching for poems with regard to all aspects of the topic analysed at the exhibition, Animal – Human – Robot, was the part of a robot, or the futuristic topic. “It seems that artificial intelligence is not yet relevant for Lithuanian poets,” she adds.
Having finally selected the authors and their works, D. Butkus admits she managed to find some poems the mood of which did reflect the future vision part of the exhibition.
Much poetry at MO Museum
One of the book compilers, P. Mikėnaitė, says that when she received D. Butkus invitation to contribute to the book, she accepted it joyfully. “Everything that happens at MO Museum is also powerfully charged with poetry: something that is impossible becomes alive, what is hard-to-describe is attractive, and it is not words or images that speak the most but what is behind them,” P. Mikėnaitė explains the motives to compile the book.
By selecting poems for the future book that would directly or indirectly respond to the topic of the current MO exhibition, P. Mikėnaitė followed the simple criteria – intuition and quality of poems.
Agnė Dautartaitė-Krutulė the designer of the book, claims she did not want it to be yet another element on the bookshelf, thus, with her design she wanted to suggest the reader the book was not only meant for reading. There are at least two surprises in the book Animal that I Am (Not).
The book pages that feature hidden artistic reproductions can be easily unfolded. A beast has also “contributed“ to the production of this book – its cover has been scratched by some sharp clutches.
“In this book, the text is more important than the image. That is why I gave priority to the text and hid the pictures. The idea was to fold the book pages and, thus, have some larger-format artwork reproductions, as if the inner beast would be hiding among the leaves. The book cover reminds of the folder of the artist’s works. It sort of protects the art, the inner world that the wild man or the beast struggles to get into or get out of. I used some scratches on the book cover to strengthen this emotion. I even had to make a special instrument for this – a beast’s clutches. Instead of binding, the book is tied up by two straps which in addition to their main function have an associative meaning – grey animals’ legs and heads,” notes designer Dautartaitė-Krutulė speaking about the new book.
Pages of the poetry book Animal that I Am (Not) have no numbers. Having unfolded all the book pages, the reader can change their places, take out art reproductions, hang them on the wall framed, or even present them to somebody. The book can also be used as a notebook. “In order to maintain the normal reading process, I sought to expand the traditional boundaries and set the book and the reader free. It would be fascinating if the book encouraged the reader to take up creative things – to actually do something with the book pages,” the designer adds.
The poetry book introduces 16 authors: Henrikas Radauskas, Birutė Pūkelevičiūtė, Antanas Jonynas, Sigitas Geda, Stasė Lygutaitė-Bucevičienė, Mantas Gimžauskas, Sigitas Parulskis, Donatas Petrošius, Daiva Čepauskaitė, Mindaugas Nastaravičius, Stasys Jonauskas, Judita Vaičiūnaitė, Alvydas Šlepikas, Ernestas Noreika, Valdas Gedgaudas and Agnė Žagarkalytė. The book contains 18 poems in total. All of them have been translated into English by Rimas Užgiris.
The presentation and meeting with the authors of the poetry book Animal that I Am (Not) will take place on 12 June, at 18:00 on MO Museum terrace. The event is open to everyone. The poetry book can also be purchased at MO Shop.