Živilė Žvėrūna


A human body is an intersection of diseases and celebrations, of love and death. The figure  of a Šiauliai resident created by Živilė Žvėrūna is a map with designations of the odysseys of the epidemics and plagues that have ravaged the town since early times. The count Zubov family always made sure that the town had doctors and hospitals available. During the interwar period, a Šiauliai County Health Insurance Fund Building was erected at the intersection of Dvaro and Aušros Streets. It was designed by Vladas Bitė.  Humans are making progress, meanwhile viruses and diseases are waiting for them to become complacent. Rats carry fleas which transmit viruses to humans. Mice connect to our computers, and the viruses, having learned to move through our capillary networks, start devouring our privacy, slowing down our connection and cutting off our networks. Viruses penetrate internet networks as we devote most of our energy, time and life to these networks. This is where they are lurking.

Count Platon Zubov was afraid of the crown of death. Thus, he married Teklė, a nineteen-year-old beauty. He hoped he could cheat death. The nineteen-year-old girl was supposed to be his mask. Diseases, death and viruses sneak up on us without being noticed; they do not need masks or keys to our homes. They don’t care if no one can see their crowns. It makes no difference for them if people don’t see them. What matters the most is that they fear them. Platon Zubov died in 1822 at the age of 54, and the following year, 260 people fell ill and 57 died in Gruzdžiai where his manor house stood. But death did not devour his memory, his manor house or his library. His brother took up where he left off. His children took up where he left off. We have taken up where they left off. We didn’t come from nowhere. And now we are standing here, at Aušros Avenue, which runs across the Zubov family’s property. Flanked by a hospital and a cathedral, it links the two in a way. Aušros Avenue connects what is dramatically interwoven in our lives: soul and body, birth and death, misery, struggle and hope.

Coordinates: 55.9346100, 23.3143461