„Archeology of an Idea” - for everyone!

„Archeology of an Idea” - for everyone!
Kaspars Garda, Rīga 2014 . Zane Onckule, Programme Director at „kim?” Contemporary Art Centre
25-10-2013 A+ A-
In 2014, one of the European Capital of Culture 2014 project will be „Waiting for… (Archeology of an Idea)” that started in August, 2014, with the public talk by Chris Sharp. This programme will be continued this weekend with a cycle of performances on aural spectrality programmed by Margarida Mendes. Evoking the ghost of parapsychologist Konstantin Raudive, pioneer of the Electronic Voice Phenomena, this performance cycle intends to explore the perceptive abyss of collective subconscious, at once rendered by the electrification of information and the emergence of new technologies. Zane Oncukle, programme director at „kim?”, tells that, in general, six various events will be held within the project.

„Six meetings with philosophers and curators from international area will be included in the programme. One or two have visited Riga before, but they will return in order to meet our artists, curators and visitors, as well. These guests will visit artists’ studios, will do some research, visit Riga cultural institutions, besides, every meeting is planned differently, however, several public events will be offered for everyone,” tells Zane Onckule who also says that this programme has no deadline or starting-finishing point, because the continuation is what’s important at this point. For instance, in 2015, Chris Sharp is planning to return in Riga in order to curate a group exhibition together with Latvian artists.


Speaking of the events on Friday, October 25 and Saturday, October 26, programme director tells that those will be related to human’s interest in finding his/her place in modern times when information structures grow only bigger, however, there is an emerging urge to find new translation possibilities as well as the ability to hide from everyone in order to find our inner selves again.

„In fact, this thing about evoking the ghost of Konstantin Raudive is a PR trick, in a way. Nevertheless, Margarida Mendes is very interested in Raudive’s personality.

Four artists are involved in this project, so, various activities will be held at RIXC Media Centre and „Chomsky” bar.”

Various evenst will be held next year, as well. „In February, 2014, a contemporary exhibition will be curated, and one guest lecturer will offer a public reading. Also a diary of a philosopher Ainārs Kamoliņš will be presented, he is also the project initiator. In his diary, Kamoliņš shows his reflections on a creative work of philosopher Benedict Spinoza. The exhibition will be made by a Sri Lankan artist living in Netherlands whose affection towards Spinoza started when he was 13, during that time, he had made his own telescope, in other words, it was a direct sign towards Spinoza’s profession – daily work.”


The next activity is planned in the beginning of June, 2014, when events dedicated to Soviet sculptor Vera Mukhina’s 125th anniversary will be organized. This idea grew from quite an inspirational conversation with art historian Alise Tīfentāle. „The story of Vera Mukhina is rather intriguing. She was born in Riga, and there is her family house on Spīķeri district. We also went to that house in order to do some research. While thinking of various separate details for this event, we decided to create a contemporary art exhibition in addition to public readings by one, quite influential, American professor and theorist.

She mainly focuses on Russian modernists and Avant-Gard representatives who lived in Mukhina's time, which is important in order to create paralel citations with Vera Mukhina’s work. Besides, the public performance will be held in cooperation with „Riga Bourse” Museum where original works by Vera Mukhina will be exhibited in spring, 2014, together with public reading organized by „kim?”. Two artists will curate the exhibition - Ella Kruglanskaya who was born in Riga an currently lives in New York, and Sanya Kantarovsky who was born in Moscow and he also lives in New York. Both are marvelous painters with a unique sensibility and interest in the offered exhibition topic,” adds Zane Onckule.

When asked if those artists got inspired by the shapes of the famous angular glass called „graņonka”, Z. Onckule says what art historian Jānis Borgs once told - Muhina did not invent „graņonka”, though many consider her to be the author.

 „I’d rather prefer another legend related to Vera Muhina. It says that Mukhina was the one who did not allow to destroy The Feedom Monument in 1945.”

She mentions one surprising moment during her visit in Moscow when she stayed at this grand, yet positively monstrous hotel „Kosmoss”. While looking through the hotel window, she then saw the famous sculpture by Mukhina named „Strādnieks un kolhozniece” („Worker and Peasant Woman”). This sculpture, indeed, is one of Mukhina’s most famous works, says Zane Onckule.


When speaking of „Archeology of an Idea”, a project dedicated to „Aspen”, multimedial American art magazine issued in 1970s will be curated in cooperation with a philosopher Jānis Taurens next August. A contemporary art exhibition will be held where Latvian artists will exhibit their works dedicated to the first „Aspen” magazine. It was not just an issue of a magazine, but also posters, sketches and other materials were included in one box. „Currently Jānis Taurens cooperates with „Neputns” publishing house in order to create a collection „Conceptual art in Latvia”. Therefore, it is also a background for previously mentioned exhibition. In addition to that, a collaboration with The Latvian National Library is planned, besides, we already know that event related to Spinoza’s creative work will be held at the old reading room of The Latvian National Library.”

The last visit within this project will be a follow-up for „kim?” cooperation with The Institute of New York „Art in General”. Representatives of „Art in General” will visit Riga in November, 2014, in order to exhibit a project they’ll curate themselves. „We know very little about this project, but, as far as we’re concerned, it will be six different visits related to Riga, our people or various projects made by „kim?”,” sums up Zane Onckule. She also points out that all those events are suited for everyone, not just for  a narrow field of art professionals.





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