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Monta's tattoo

In 2000 Monta, a man from Vilnius in his late 20's, whom I’ve met via a friend of mine and was intrigued by the mix of his clubbing intelligence, a collection of antiques and love for the two turtles at home, began to make a tattoo on his arm. It was designed to be a big and complicated figurative composition running from his wrist up to the shoulder (“It was about transformation of earth to heaven via the swirl of bodies of people,” explained Monta when we’ve met couple of months ago.) However rather unexpectedly Monta got to a psychiatric hospital one day and spent there a few weeks. After he got back out of hospital he didn't show any interest to finish the tattoo anymore. So the initial drawing of outlines remained on his arm as a witness of the vision that has been interrupted by the institution of discipline. At some point I asked him whether he wouldn’t like to finish the tattoo. “No,” he said and explained that he got interested in other things without specifying them. Then I asked whether the outlines of the tattoo could be made open for other people to reanimate (or complete) the drawing. Monta didn't mind. We agreed to publish the photos of the unfinished tattoo (or a “proposal of tattoo”) in the magazine and leave it open for people to pass it on to the next stage.

When I visited him couple of days ago at his house in Vilnius to take the photos, he was sitting exhausted after 12 hours of barefoot walk on a highway through the freezing night. His mother was worrying that he hasn’t had any food or water for a couple of days, because, according to Monta, “everything was polluted”, while the son was high on the idea to transform his body into something “where bacterias will find nothing to do.” We talked for almost an hour, yet he knew answers to anything what we’ve said, might have said or remained silent about.

“Writing is a waste,’ he said in the beginning of the conversation.

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