(Conversation with the artist and director of the Psilicone Theatre Auksė Petrulienė)Kotryna Džilavjanaitė, 2009 03 31


Auksė Petrulienė 


"Gediminas' Dream", 2006 - 2008 


"The Little", 2006 - 2008 


"Action No. 4", 2006 - 2008 


Mačiūnas, original puppet of Rokas Vengraitis, 2006 - 2008 


Bats, original puppets of Rokas Vengraitis, 2006 - 2008

In brief: Psilicone Theatre is a continuous contemporary art project that was born in Kaunas in 2005 as an art experiment. Its activity is based on a public video game using miniature marionettes created from silicone, a plastic, viscous and resistant material. The performance takes place on the small surface of a machine, and the view may be seen as the action is filmed and projected on a big screen. Water, chemicals, cosmetic items, daily things are used for performances; texts and music accompaniment is integrated. A conversation about Psilicone Theatre with its founder, artist and director Auksė Petrulienė is presented.

A.Petrulienė tells about the beginning of her theatre – when she was invited to participate in the biennial of graphics “Now Art Now Future”, she came up with the idea to use the apparatus for conferences with an integrated video camera for a performance. She had the idea of creating a live musical-graphical action. Clichés were produced from silicone but their prints did not look well. Still, the clichés were rather good and they became silicone marionettes.

The artist and director tells that the first shows were more related with the research of the silicone principle, graphic techniques, toxicity of paint, processes of acidity. Silicone puppets are really resistant, they are indestructible. This served as a metaphor. The silicone hare and bear were dipped into paint, poisonous liquids and survived in first performances. The immortality of these animals granted social tone to the theatre and encouraged to look for a “different” spectator, to teach people “endurance exercises”.

“Psilicone Theatre, as many paratheatrical phenomena, is attracted by untraditional places. Our theatre came from the street, it has this insolence of the street, which is not always acceptable to traditional viewers who come with programmes in pockets,” smiles the artist. She states, “I am interested in the reaction of viewers, differences between the Lithuanian and foreign audience. Foreigners react in a livelier manner, while Lithuanians have more endurance and patience.”

When asked about the influence of the Lithuanian historical context on the Psilicone theatre, i.e., the influence of puppet animation of Vladislav Starevich, puppets of Stasys Ušinskas, tradition of marionettes theatre, A.Petrulienė reveals that V.Starevich, the trainer of bugs, is the biggest inspiration for her. She is charmed by his collective creative process – he used to film in a closed circle of his family, when the bugs were moved by his wife and children.

According to A.Petrulienė, Psilicone Theatre has a very clear social mission – from the first shows in yards of multi-apartment houses and swimming pools they are solving the urgent question, what the distance between the artist and the society should be. From the abundant arsenal of tools for improving the world, the theatre chooses the classical and very influential tool – irony.

Humour of the Psilicone Theatre is like an antidote. Appalling views flood a man from the screen every day. Psilicone Theatre uses a very similar method, multimedia, but it applies it in a positive way. The aim of the theatre is to decontaminate the negativity of the environment by a gale of laughter and playing, to analyse the same problems topical to everyone; still, without a frown of concern on the forehead.

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