“Gut feeling” 

Contemporary art is once again trying to save the world, this time the artist and his team are getting closer, down to the earth, closer to the common people, straight to Castelo, perhaps - the last non-gentrified working-class alley in Venice. His proclaimed goal is to give a voice to the local people, listen to them and help them fight  evil - a capitalist regime and a neoliberal demon that kills the planet, represented by a corporation wanting to build a huge glass hotel to cover the sun for nearby monk vineyards. But the artist also struggles with his inner demons and desire for fame, honor, recognition and patronage from patrons and the powerful, how will he do it? Whose side will you stand for? Or maybe he will manage to find a way in the middle and reconcile, unite people for a common goal?

In this difficult path, the hero is helped to make decisions by a strange inner voice, a “gut feeling” - a choir of bacteria living in the gut. In order to achieve his goals of empowering people and finding a common language, the artist establishes a social sculpture across the one salizada in a former abandoned laundry artist opens  a cooperative of invasive seaweed processing and fermentation farm. In this co-operative union, he recruits his old and new comrades, a celebrity chef, local community, seaweeds, bacterias and anarchists and capitalists. Like in the epic fantasy movie  the battle for people’s hearts and minds begins. 


Gut Feeling behind the scenes

June 30

We live with the feeling that something will happen soon. For all of us. But that flair lives in each one individually. Scientifically speaking, intuition lives in our gut and causes us a feeling that we call "butterflies in the belly" in Lithuanian. This feeling is responsible for the complex biochemical processes in our body and the billions of bacteria that interact with the intestinal walls affect our moods, well-being, and sometimes even decisions.
As the last half of the year has shown, beyond the walls, institutions, poses and rumors, there is a man in whom tragedies and comedies are constantly intertwined. Here, I stand in front of a mirror and rehearse my voice as I say: "A Lithuanian artist will open a seaweed processing and fermentation cooperative (that is, a bio-installation / social sculpture) at the Venice Biennale." I am a professional creator, an adventurer where ideas mature to awaken creativity. I know a technician to help me grab new ideas, but no matter what I did, no matter how I ran away from this idea: when I turned the wheel, I found myself in the same place in the woods. I realized I would have to look deeper, simmer.
I leaned closer to the microscope, looked back at my notes, and realized that this was not a coincidence or a trend (fermentation has been one of the most growing art trends in recent years). Here, eight years ago, I created a sculpture / installation whose shape resembles a bacterium with mitochondria and other parts. And here, my quasi-restaurant - the kitchen on the Dutch bicycle bakery was called "Inside Floyd" - with a bacterial cut in the logo. Later, I cooked octopus ink in the gallery, phantom until coincidences led to the actual opening of an artist-run restaurant.
I took off my shirt and looked at my belly. There, inside - the universe, billions of micro-cells, which also have their desires, are striving to survive and establish themselves. And what if they influence my decisions? I called a buddy bioengineer on the phone to ask about the correctness of this hypothesis, and after a long conversation we came to the conclusion that these microorganisms may understand (well, not in a human sense): their future prospects would become much more attractive if they persuade them to start a fermentation plant. Only if they somehow manage to convince me that this is the best idea. They know that together we can reach more people, take over the walls of their stomachs, hearts and minds, change the world. I seem to hear a whispering voice, “We will produce a Gut feeling, it will be such a fermentation-based essence that will make people once again rely more on their flair, a potion that will restore faith in irrational decisions. It's so important now! ”




07.01 I don't want to give up so fast. My body and mind are in doubt. Perhaps this is how demonic obsession comes to mind? And what if it's not the best idea?

07.16 I understand that I have to go to Venice to check my intuition. We contact Marco Scurati, a local location scout and perennial producer. We toured many wonderful spaces, palazzo, Giudeka warehouses, but we could not have wasted either. I found what I was looking for on the way to the first location. It is clear to me that the pavilion must be on the street among the people, melted among the true Venetians, ordinary workers and the elite of the art world. Campo de la Gato - Delegate Square. Everything is ideal, in a short, crossroads, a number of long-standing shops, warehouses, shop windows. The location itself is well known to the biennial people, because it is next to the former Lithuanian pavilions: around the corner - Žolinas and Darius' "Scoleta", even deeper, somewhere in the intestines of the streets passes to the "Marina". Here on the corner, a little away from the noisier bars - who were very pleased with the idea that a pavilion could appear here on this street; there is an empty space, a former laundry room: large shop windows, even the walls lined with sterile tiles. Viewers may not even go inside and enjoy the installation through the windows. Such windows shopping. This location will be called "Laundry". Performative production, cleaning, drying, fermentation and packaging will take place here.

07. 17 Marco takes me to his office. It turns out it is the former headquarters of a local communist organization. The walls are lined with siding, the same as they used to be in apartment buildings. My skin is shaking. I understand that Marco is not just a leftist, but a true Western communist: sincere and hoping for a fairer world. I get a cultural shock - a hammer and a sickle. Laughing, I take a picture with a red flag pulled from his drawer. Confusion visible on the face. I will now explain my views: I am a traditional artist, an eco-social-optimist. (Wtf?) I am leaning to the left, I believe in taxes, but for me, progress and freedom of action are more important than state regulation. It can't be otherwise, because I grew up in a "transition period". And why am I writing so much here about political views? „Gut f

In Salergadade le Gate, shops and small businesses are going through a difficult time, although they have never been very successful. Dusty showcases covered with heavy, rusty shutters have been closed for many years. Castello has always been an area of lepers, workers, Franciscan monks and the Order of Malta. A tiny engraving on the wall depicts the Virgin Mary standing on a projectile? Marco Scourati, a long-time scout of Lithuanian pavilions and an activist in local communities, explains: “La bomba were made in these houses, and it happened, from time to time, some quertiers would explode unexpectedly”. Nevertheless, a dubious reputation or patronage has protected the area from various misfortunes. The day of my visit, the third Saturday in July, celebrates one of the biggest holidays of the year, Radentore, to mark the victory against the plague that killed thousands of Venetians and the great painter Ticiano, but according to legend, not a single one was registered in Castello. "Perhaps this miraculous force is protecting our crossroads from zombie tourists and the toxic Chinese capital, one after another sucking life from the surrounding cafe restaurants," Marco smiles bitterly, shaking hands with Mario, the owner of Bar al Canton. Obviously, the antidote here is another - in Salizada la gate there is an unwritten association based on Italian communal ideology, the tradition of coexistence and solidarity is passed down from generation to generation.


The Gut Feeling will turn the entire block and accross street into a pavilion. In the spaces of the former laundromat, shop warehouses and operating oysters (bistro), a social sculpture directed by the artist will unfold, with an invasive seaweed processing co-operative hyperbolized (“in the artist’s words”) in the epicenter. Production, economic relations, gentrification processes, and the mysterious product itself become the engine of a phantasmagoric and unpredictable scenario here. The spectator enters through the gate into a global village (a kind of China town) where the world's cultural, biological, technological and culinary traditions intertwine. In the DIY workshop, invasive seaweeds grown in DIY do-it-yourself shops become one of the main elements of a comprehensive sculptural installation. Growing, living, withered seaweed seems to envelop spaces and thoughts, becoming a metaphor for obsessed with the idea of neoliberal development. It can be admired or terrified, smelled, and of course tasted by sitting in the restaurant right here.

But after the mesmerizing, contemporary installation of contemporary art hides a sense of openness, without hiding the controversial nature of the project, the artists create a radically sincere relationship with the community and the audience of the actor, the art scene in a relaxed sense

Undaria pinnatifida - an invasive species of seaweed from Asia, a widely used food product known as - wakame for the past three decades, along with merchant ships, spread all over the world, including Venice.

David Chaim Zilber is the co-founder of the fermentation laboratory of the Noma restaurant, which has been recognized as the best restaurant in the world for many years. 

Local community, cultural club "Olivolo".

Lactobacillus Bacterias - fermentation, tanning bacteria used in various fermentation processes.

Robertas Narkus - the artist (the artist from the former Soviet Union, straight, with two children)