Mindaugas Ažušilis, who has recently published a book dedicated to the compulsory, objectified Lithuanian happiness, likes to subtly mock the cliches of amateur photography and put their messages into quotes. He addresses Lithuanian obligatory masculinity in a similar manner. Lithuanian, of course. Again seemingly open, of course, but in reality quite ironic. The photographs feature typical attributes of hegemonic masculinity - muscles of the nude body, sports, self-satisfied looks, the firmness of the subject's self. Yet something makes it hard to believe it... For instance, that muscular guy is a bit too relaxed, somewhat saggy, placed too low in the image, leaning against a heater covered with planks in a flabby way, but the worst thing is that he is close to another man. The rampant homophobia in Lithuania has poisoned physical contact and tainted male communion with fear. Meanwhile, the photographer betrays the self-conscious posers once again, delivering a blow below the belt.
© Agnė Narušytė