Solvita Krese: ‘People in Riga Are Creative Enough!’

Solvita Krese: ‘People in Riga Are Creative Enough!’
Kaspars garda, Rīga 2014
Una Griškeviča
10-04-2013 A+ A-
‘It was in the very middle of economical crisis, when the proposition of this idea was getting shaped, and we thought that art as instrument and kit of survival is a very apt image,’ says coordinator of 'Riga 2014' thematic line ‘Survival Kit’ Solvita Krese, adding that, as a group, they will try to address everyone living in Riga, including those who are far from being perceived as the target audience of cultural products and processes and who rarely attend the cultural events.

Will search for symbiosis

S. Krese is quick to underline that ‘Survival Kit’ is an inter-disciplinary line joining a great variety of artistic efforts. ‘We search for connections between different branches of culture, but also go beyond them looking for symbiosis.’ One of the segments in this thematic line is engendering the re-naissance of discarded artisan skills – inter-weaving of art and crafts; how the skills thought redundant can be revived and the long-forgotten objects – translated and re-molded to ‘speak’ modern language, can keep to be used?

Many of the things, which our grandmothers knew and which later have fallen out of the circulation – we see, are required by the times and come back to be in fashion.

Which is why we will try to integrate them – for example, by the efforts of group ‘Serde,’ which works on the projects of urban gardening, and by attempts to revive the skills of the past manifested in the ‘Lace Project’, created by the Center of Design Information, which would offer to observe how the grandmothers’ lace emerges replicated everywhere, including in architecture and design. ‘The Freedom street will see a garden being created on one of its terraces, and the plant bedspread will be woven combining applied new technologies and ancient skills and promoting the ‘green’ architecture, which is so popular now,’ the curator of the project describes one of its ideas.

Do It Yourself!

S. Krese stresses that several of the projects of this thematic line are engendered through the creative quarters, which have mushroomed all around Riga and positively ‘infect’ also their adjacent neighborhoods. ‘I think that people observe it and think – well, now, look at how these creative initiatives take root and change the façade of the city! And they are inspired to do something themselves,’ concludes Solvita Krese, adding that all these segments foreground the presence of DIY – the ‘Do It Yourself!’ culture, which, by means of ‘Survival Kit,’ urges people to be creative and fearless.

In no sense this is thematic line of our cultural program addressing elite issues or evoking interest to reach for some ‘higher shelves.’

Within the limits of this line, we really would try to convince everyone not to be afraid, to strive to be creative and see it proved that surprising results can be achieved with very limited resources – in terms of the ancient skills and in application of the findings of science and innovation,’ adds the curator of ‘Survival Kit.’ 

Spectrum suitably wide

Considering the projects to be underlined, Solvita Krese sums up that ‘there is quite a few of them and they all will be found in the comprehensive program of events. I would not wish to see somebody offended by omission.’ But, certainly, she wants to mention the large exposition of the diploma works of the students of Design department of the Academy of Arts, expected to shape the way design interacts with ancient skills – namely, in laboratory of their diploma works, the students will collaborate with artisans, scientists and entrepreneurs attempting to reflect these three influences in singular exhibition pieces.

The second segment is encounter of art and science to be reflected in the projects generated by the Center of New Media RIXC and in a major exhibition to be held in ‘Arsenāls’, as well as in the projects of Radio NABA – the science cafes organized in partnership with the University of Latvia to be followed by the big Scientists’ Night joining artists and musicians.

The next segment is artists meeting creative entrepreneurship – the mode for the art to survive, proving that culture and art are more than just consuming spheres, but that, by innovation, they can very intensively create added economic value.’

One of the partners to take part in the events in the niche of ancient skills is the Ethnographic Open-Air Museum of Latvia.

The popular fair of crafts and arts in the Museum is a well-known event in the cultural calendar, which, I think, everybody strives to attend possibly early in the day in order to enjoy the best performance of our artisans.  

Now, they will try to create something similar involving the artisans working in contemporary art – the project will combine workshops, trading and other impressive events all to take place on the first week-end of August.’

It is worth to add, that the events of this thematic line will take place, both, in the center of the town and in its peripheries, overlapping, to a certain extent, with the thematic line directed by Gundega Laiviņa titled ‘Road Map’ or ‘58 Rigas.’ ‘But, in my view, such inter-action is even to be desired. The ultimate aim is to address people by less approbated cultural activities, and, perhaps, they can turn out to be more acceptable and interesting for them,’ Solvita Krese adds.


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