“Therapy” Series

As an individual performer I am developing a cycle of performances under a name “Therapy”. This is basically the best means I found so far to speak of things I haven’t been able to speak about using other instruments, like language, sounds, video. Essentially personal, thus, in principle, universal.

Therapy X

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I had a window frame hanging from the ceiling, covered with two pieces of white synthetic material. With the needles I pinned the ends of both pieces to my back, one from one side of the spine, the other one – from the other. Then I cut the material just beneath the window frame, trying to cut as high as I could reach standing on my fingertips, first with the right, then with my left hand. I then extended the end of one piece to one person from the audience, the second – to the other, and while they held the pieces, I unpinned them, both decorated with little drops of blood.

Performance took place during Winter CREATurE event in POST gallery (Kaunas, LT), curated by Vaida Tamoševičiūtė (LT) and Katri Kainulainen (FI).

Photos by Airida Rekšytė.

Therapy IX : Empathy

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A couple of weeks before the performance I asked Giedre Chesson and Eva Martino to gather all the publications they should find in the British press about the wars and armed conflicts, at that moment Lithuanian press was full of information about the war in Ukraine, whereas the British was mostly writing about the Jihad and Syrian conflict.

I put out the articles on the floor of my cell, and started plying origami cranes out of them. I made fifteen of those and started attaching them to my left arm, using needles. The cranes ought to fly, thus when all of them were on my arm, I was taking those I attached earliest and moving them “ahead”, thus the cranes “travelled” from the left to the right (arm). Then I got out to the courtyard of the Island and burned the cranes, one by one.

Performance took place at Bristol Biennial 2014, in the framework of Crossing the Line event, curated by Eva Martino.

Performance lasted for 1hr40mins(?)

Photos by Giedre Chesson, full photo gallery here

Therapy VII : Association

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I cut off the skin and flesh off of a whole raw hen, undressing its carcass. I washed the carcass and lay it out in the shape of a human that I drew according to my own shape while lying on the floor. I packed up the flesh into my long-sleeve t-shirt and tied a red ribbon around it. I fovered my head with the bandage and went out.

Performance took place in Holzmark25, Berlin, in the framework of Month of Performance Art Berlin 2014, Artistic Research: Four Approaches / II/IV THE MIRROR AND ITS REFLECTIONS, an event curated by Camilla Graff Junior.

Performance lasted for 45 mins

Photos by Ilya Noé

Therapy VIII : Autoportrait in Fire / Autoportretas ugnimi

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I put some burning liquid into the bowl and stepped into it. I held a white plastic jar which contained my blood, frozen from March month menses, until it melted and ran through the dress, the remaining piece of ice was thawing between my palms. I cleaned my hands and ripped the upper part of the dress to get it off and down into the bowl. I took a red ribbon out of a pink pouch, as well as some needles, then attached the ribbon using the needles to my thighs. I started the fire on the dress, and I burned the red ribbon over its center, then I straightened it out again into its previous position, just divided in two and tied. I remained until the heat was unbearable.

Performance took place in Titanikas gallery (Vilnius Academy of Arts) in the framework of an event “Performance laboratory” by “Student Art Days”.

Performance lasted for 50 mins
Photo documentation by Justin Tyler Tate

Therapy VI : Atstumai / Distance

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Distances between me and you, me and me, between a thought and a sound, between a step and the stone falling off of the top of the mountain, the distance that makes me feel safe, the distance I keep to protect myself from hurt, the distance I keep from everything and anything becoming distanced from the world and its inhabitants.

Performance took place in “Post” gallery in Kaunas on the 1st of December. I fastened two red ribbons with needles, two for each of the ribbons, piercing the skin between my thumb and index finger, I took a crude egg in each hand. The other side of each of the ribbon was tied to a heavy rock. The audience members were asked to come and move the stones away from the circle as far as they wish and in the direction they wish to do so. Eight of the audience members decided to participate in this, entwining the ribbons and straightening them once again. Unexpectedly all were very sensible to the fact that the further is the stone, the bigger is the tension and thus the more acute might be the possible pain I might suffer due to the needles in my hands. I was actually sure someone would go far enough, so that I would drop one or both of the eggs trying to avoid the pain, thus I was  surprised and shaken. The performance ended when one of the participants came and took the needles out of my hands telling me that having my hands in the position that I was had cut out the blood circulation in my fingers.

Performance lasted for 25mins.
Photo documentation by Levas & Gintarė Klimaitytė.

Therapy V : Apsivalymas / Cleansing

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I constructed a small wooden house from the planks of an old house which was reconstructed and renovated in the Botanic garden. I cut out a quadrangular piece of cloth out of my white skirt and sew it to my sleeve. I tied up the hole in the skirt with a red ribbon. I poured flammable liquid onto the house in order to make it burn. Ir burned just a little, and while it did, I was holding up my hand – my white flag. Then I bandaged my head, tried to light up the house once again, and held the “white flag” up for some more time. Given that the house “decided” not to burn (thus I did not clean the house nor in figurative, nor in direct sense), I will wait until the closing of the exhibition, which will take place in winter, to make it burn in the snow.

Performance took place in Kairėnai Botanic gardens XVth annual land art exhibition, the thematic of which this year was “Metamorphosis”. Performance lasted for 1hr45mins.
Photo documentation by

Therapy IV : Habeo

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I crossed the old town of Kaunas from the Townhall to the Underground passage where the Therapy IV was taking place. I sat in the far end of the passage, one flight of stairs away from a mendicant bum, and extended my hands full of coins (222 cents) and razorblades that I wanted to give away. Nobody took anything, however, I received about 4 Litas (a bit more than 1 Euro) and two candies in about 20 minutes. I left it all for the flower vendor which was distressed that I might cause her trouble. I went down to the Underground passage and bought  12 roses, 1 Litas each, and tried to give them away. While kneeling, it was mission impossible. While standing, it was a bit easier, but people still were very reluctant at taking (things) from me. However, there was a kid which accepted three roses, and even came back to change one of the two white one into one red so he has one of each color: red, yellow, white. When I gave away the flowers, I started giving away the nails. They were far more popular than coins, but nobody took more than one nail, though obviously you will be short of them when building your life. Some people, instead of taking nails, decided to put some money onto them, thus I ended up with ± 4 Litas again. At the end of the performance I descended the stairs and gave all the nails and the money to the mendicant bum which was cursing me beforehand. Performance lasted 48 mins.

Performed in an underground passage in Kaunas / Lithuania // @ CREATurE Live Art 2013, June.
Photo documentation by Levas.

Therapy III : Red Ribbon

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Therapy III: Red Ribbon

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I pierced my ears with 5 piercings (one was in place already), which served to hold the red ribbon in front of my face, covering it [almost] all. I had a bucket with the ash which I collected during my two months living in a house heated with a stove. I made funnels out of paper and started filling them with ash – one by one – and walking back and forth the space to hand them over to the people.

Performed in Ptarmigan / Tallinn // Estonia, November (?) 2012.
Photo documentation by Justin Tyler Tate.

Therapy II : Autoportrait

Has not (yet) been presented publicly.

Therapy I : Being Human

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I started out by cutting the fingers of my left hand. The session of automatic writing began with a thought about “being a decent human being” and ended up in fuzzy thoughts about survival. When I reached the end of the chosen space to write on, I started painting it in white until all the previous work – the writing – was covered. Performance lasted 1.5 hrs.

Performed in KKKC Meno Kiemas / Klaipeda // Lithuania, September 2012.
Photo documentation by Levas.

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One response to ““Therapy” Series

  1. Pingback: Solo Performances | Daina Dieva·

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