In the section “Gods and Monsters” we saw a portrait of graphic artist Edmundas Saladžius in which he is riding a dragon. When we look at how this artist’s works are full of danger, uncertainty and paranoia, it is not difficult to understand why Elvyra Kairiūkštytė chose to represent him in this way.
Saladžius chose uncomfortable subjects. He was interested in mental problems, aggression and alienation. His works, especially those dating from the 1980s, often contained political subtexts. The series Dog Suite belongs to this period and can be interpreted as a metaphorical commentary on that era. In the mood these works convey, they can be compared with descriptions of the late Soviet years by the novelist Ričardas Gavelis. This was a period of extreme social aggression – criminal gangs were forming and bands of homeless dogs were running in city streets. In Saladžius’s cycle, dogs are symbols of a society of opportunists – of slaves who need a strong master’s hand holding their leashes. When the leash breaks, such people’s fear and aggression are unleashed. Like animals, they hunt each other and even their shadows.