“A friend wanted to produce his own radio show on New Year’s Eve in Vilnius while I wanted to sit at an ATM and watch Litas be exchanged for the Euro. I suggested we do both; I would sit in a car outside of an ATM and watch the currency transfer while I listened on the radio to the show he would broadcast. Instead, we played Detroit techno and Chicago house music in the basement of a Mexican restaurant where our other friend was working in the kitchen. The next day, the Euro was being nervously but precisely used throughout the city, and a coffee that might have cost 4 Litas was now exactly 1.16 Euro. I happened to have a pocket full of Litas remaining and tried to purchase one such coffee but was told by the bartender that I had to pay in Euros (even though we were supposed to be able to pay with Litas until January 15th). I obliged and after my coffee I went to use the toilet. As I unzipped my jacket, the pocket filled with Lita coins fell into the toilet. I had heard stories of people accidentally swallowing coins and passing them without much trouble, so I imagined the plumbing as an intestine of sorts that would cope equally well with the objects. After flushing cautiously, the coins clogged the toilet completely and it overflowed. I had planned to come back to this particular Kavine with a friend because of their reasonably priced dumplings, but feared that if I ever returned, the bartender would assume I had flushed the now defunct currency down the toilet intentionally. There is also a rumor going around that all of the coins will be collected and used to make a large sculpture.”
Nick Bastis (b. 1985) is currently based between Brussels, BE and Vilnius, LT. Works recently shown at Gallery Catherine Bastide (Brussels, BE), the Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago, US), Fluxia (Milan, IT), Objectif (Antwerp, BE), Podium (Oslo, NO), and Kunsthalle Athena (Athens, GR).