Mantas Lesauskas. Peripheria x Cor

24 May – 25 August 2024

Do resources simply subject themselves to the whims of their extractors and users? Are objects merely a backdrop to human existence – created and waiting to be filled with the foreign will to act, be valuable, or to be unnecessary? Designer and researcher Mantas Lesauskas (b. 1984) offers different, unexpected answers to these questions in his solo exhibition „Peripheria x Cor“ held at the Palanga Amber Museum, presenting design objects born out of his science-based artistic research of amber.


The pieces, their exhibition architecture, and the exhibition space itself, enveloped by the Tyszkiewicz Palace like an inclusion, are connected by the thread of amber’s impact. Egyptian pharaohs, Greeks, Romans, medieval and later European elites, and subsequently, empires and occupying regimes not only adorned themselves with amber but also expansively used it as a means to pursue political goals and establish status. Centres of power drew resources into themselves, recording once-distant peripheries, such as the amber-rich shores of the Baltic Sea and our ancestors’ tribes, into written history.


The scarcity of amber resources and their territorial specificity increased the value of this material, inspired ritual practices, drew historical and cultural vectors, and fueled the machinery of totalitarian ideologies. Geologically defined as plain fossilised resin, amber is not limited solely to the attraction of scientific curiosity. Historical narratives, the allure of being akin to a gemstone, colonial practices, and quests for national identity revolved around this unique material. With such a dense semantic load in mind, Lesauskas rightfully calls amber an actively acting material, in line with the „agency of things“ concept. In the exhibition, he invites the viewer to think through materials: to reveal provisions for the existence of materials that are more multifaceted than initially thought, and to consider the utility of and resistance towards materials and objects.


Engaging in a dialogue with amber, Lesauskas employs the method of interrogation in dealing with this material. In the field of design, it facilitates breaking away from stereotypes, revealing new perspectives on materials, and finding a basis for deeper creative reflection and artistic exploration that transcends the limits of superficial attitudes.


Through his scientific-artistic study of amber, the artist invites the public to reconsider the dynamic between the periphery and the centre through the eyes of contemporary humans. In the design of these exhibited objects, Lesauskas combines amber of various geographic origins with other aesthetically related materials: aromatic resins, minerals, and naturally harvested latex. Objects reminiscent of ritual artefacts elegantly display their practical sides – to hold a candle, to hold a book, to hold bread. However, they will only reveal their whole spectrum to those who’ll allow themselves to be invited to a sensitively insightful interrogation of amber.


Exhibition coordinator Regina Makauskienė 
Exhibition text writer Greta Babarskaitė 
Idea conceived by Mantas Lesauskas 
Graphic design by Indrė Klimaitė (Klimaite Klimaite) 
Photographer Darius Petrulaitis 

Text editor Ilona Čiužauskaitė 

17 Vytauto st, LT-00101, Palanga, Lithuania
(+370 460) 30314

See also

Exhibition opening

Palanga Amber Museum of the LNMA presents Mantas Lesauskas interrogations of materiality of amber