Essay by Raimundas Malašauskas
HISK laureates catalog / 2016

In my dream you are showing a new lipstick you’ve made, it is called Sherrie Levine. Not without a color, glossy and bottomless it heals hearts, drives motorcycles and plays music. I am whirring in admiration, captivated by its cosmological favor. You demonstrate how delicately the lipstick works, first by cleaning the stairs (wasn’t there a carpet before, I wonder to myself), then by suspending claims to universality, and after all — by making the meaning so overdetermined and congealed that it implodes. We both stare at the canyon gaping in front of us. Can you? you smile. Can you? I smell. Smells like your studio, I remember. You nod knowingly, almost mischievously — it makes me suspicious that some surprise is on its way. Perhaps it is the sound of dust or some other alchemic microparticles. Or a sense of leakage. But of what? Some controlling substance or some controlled substance? Not a question to tackle without vodka that at this point turns out to be an ingredient of the lipstick somehow. How can we get it out of here? I wonder. Sisters and carpets emerge — it is a much more Freudian landscape. One of them is interested in the physical and the sensory; and another one: in the contingent and the unstable. The third one is myself. She likes repetition because it implies an endless succession of substitutes and missed encounters, expatriate’s romance with the middles, a continuous present. Like water, like waffles, like anything that can emerge. Now you and your sister are banging dust off the carpet in the Post-Soviet realist style. Cleanliness is in the family blood, I giggle, thinking that this lipstick might have been a figment of the imagination. Yes, a pigment, you say, seroburomalin, and I nod: Maline, Levine, all those Mechelen monsters.