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Pakui Hardware

Virtual Care

6 January – 18 April 2021

For their first solo exhibition in the UK, Pakui Hardware (artists Neringa Cerniauskaite and Ugnius Gelguda) will present a newly devised commission created specially for BALTIC’s level 2 gallery space, exploring the subject of robotic and virtual care at a particularly significant moment when we find ourselves more concerned than ever with the quality and accessibility of healthcare.

Pakui Hardware’s work considers the movement of capital through bodies, technology and materials and how it shapes our realities. Reminiscent of futuristic or biological settings, their hybrid sculptures and installations use materials such as glass, artificial fur, textiles, leather, chia seeds, soil, silicone, metal and plastics. In recent years, their work has explored questions around contemporary medicine, imagining possible futures where material limitations are transcended by fragmenting, multiplying and recreating human and non-human bodies.

For their new installation at BALTIC, the space will be transformed into an environment that resembles a clinical surgery room where human presence – with the exception of the visitor themselves – is replaced by technology. Glass objects affixed to a hanging surgical lamp sculpture will create a sense of warmth and care, in contrast to the alienated coolness of its steel arms that make anthropomorphic reference to surgeon’s hands. Suspended between physical and virtual, bodily and digital, transparent thermoformed or resin ‘bodies’ will be abstracted into sculptural biomorphic shapes that are both present and erased at the same time. Partially inspired by paintings by Lithuanian artist Teresė Rožanskaitė from the 1970s and 80s, these ‘bodies’ are traces, shells of ‘flesh’, dominated by technology.