This time, Duonis introduces the money. His own money!
Money is the price of my hour. It is not unilateral. The value is created.
I envy millionaires, so I have created a million myself. Only prettier.
The sculptures and installations of Duonis stand out in the context of contemporary Lithuanian art for their monumental, zoomorphic figures, recurring monkey motif and consistent continuity of themes. The works, which are not lacking in humour and sarcasm, conceal references that vary from Lithuanian folk traditions to contemporary popular culture. Without shying away from self-irony, Duonis creates an image of the artist as a character who defies the rules and creates his own reality.
In this exhibition, Donatas Jankauskas-Duonis fills the gallery space with his own created coupons and presents the new official currency of the Monkey Museum. The installation created for this exhibition in particular offers the opportunity to briefly immerse oneself in the world of monkeys created by Duonis. Here, countless printed zeros create a sense of infinity and make you feel like a millionaire. The aesthetic shape of the coupons and the form of money that has evolved over the centuries hint at the progressiveness of civilisation. However, monkeys with money may not seem so distant to a modern man. By emphasising the changing value of money and the meaning given to it, Duonis raises questions about the human nature and established social norms. What makes a man a millionaire and what determines the value of an hour? When dealing with serious topics, Duonis skilfully puts them in the form of laughter and does not give clear answers easily. The irony in the exhibition, therefore, helps us to return to our primal origins and to look at ourselves with a touch of humour.
Donatas Jankauskas-Duonis was born in 1968 in Seda. In 1994 he graduated in sculpture from the Vilnius Academy of Arts. He has been actively participating in group and solo exhibitions since 1990 in Lithuania and abroad. He creates sculptures, sculptural objects, video art, installations, puppets, costumes for theatre, and organizes artistic happenings. In 1997-2000 he organised the street art festival in Telšiai. In 2002, in collaboration with Oskaras Koršunovas Theatre, he created masks for the performance “Oedipus Rex”. His works can be found in the Lithuanian National Museum of Art, and the MO Museum in Vilnius, moreover, his sculptures have been added to a number of public spaces, including Sapiegos Park, Paupys District, The CAC Sculpture Yard, etc. Since 2006 he has been teaching at the J. Vienožinskis Art School in Vilnius. In 2021 he opened the Monkey Museum in Savičiūnai, where he exhibits a collection of monkeys he has collected and created. The artist lives and works in Vilnius.
The project is partly supported by the Vilnius City Municipality.