26 Gasoline Station
2011, edition 12, foil, woodcut, letterpress, ink jet print, rope, 12,3 x 27,5 x 0,9 cm
In time 2 October – 31 October 2010 I was invited to make an artist’s book workshop in the “Scuola Internazionale di Grafica Venezia”, also to exhibit the “5th International Artist’s Book Triennial” in the Gallery of the “Scuola”, and to stay for 4 weeks as an artist in Residency. It was wonderful time to be in Venezia in autumn, to see the “acqua alta”, to create, to teach, to read the book of Thomas Mann “The Death in Venice”… To see Venice in the night, when everything is closed, when is dark and only rats are in the streets. Yes, I love Venezia.
On the road back to Lithuania, from Venice to Vilnius (it is 1809 km, I have been with my personal car) I decided to make an replica action (or performance) – like an artist Ed Ruscha did it in 1963 in USA. He has made 26 photos of petrol stations on the road from his home to parents house and published an artists book “26 Gasoline Stations”. It is one of the first modern artist’s book. So I decided to copy his beautiful idea and to make “my 26 petrol stations”. During my travel I have made photos of 26 petrol (gasoline) stations. On the road was more than 100 petrol stations, but I wanted to make photos only from 26. In my diary I noted the kilometres from Venice of each petrol station I took a photo on the road. Also I noted the time when I have made the picture of each petrol station. First day I was driving my car 15 hours till 3 a.m., and I have made 1068 km. Then I was sleeping few hours in my small car near the steering wheel in the petrol station. (It was really too cold for sleeping longer in the car). In the next morning, in 6:56 a.m. I started to drive my car again and I was driving till 6:09 p.m. I did the last 741 km untill Vilnius. On the way to Lithuania I crossed Italy, Austria, the Czech Republic and Poland. For making photos on the road I lost about 2 hours of driving time. And I did 26 photos of gasoline stations (in the early morning and in the day, in the evening and in the night) for my artist’s book. I want to say thanks for an artist Ed Rucha.
Few pictures with my car, and from the window of my car – I did it while driving a car.
© Photos: Kestutis Vasiliunas
© Artist’s Book Creators 2011