“Rīga 2014”: most significant visual arts projects

“Rīga 2014”: most significant visual arts projects
Māris Upzars . In Autumn of 2014, the Art Museum “Riga Bourse” will host the art exhibition and conference “Amber of Tutankhamun”.
03-01-2014 A+ A-
“Riga 2014” programme features various projects of visual art - the website has selected the biggest visual art projects in Riga and elsewhere.

* “1914” at Exhibition Hall “Arsenāls” (18 January – 20 April)

Exhibition “1914” combines the visual arts’ testimony on WWI in terms of the historic, social and cultural development of Europe. The exhibition is a collaboration between the national museums of art of Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia.

Read more about this project here.

Thematic division “Freedom Street”


* “Visionary structures. From Ioganson to Johansons” at National Library of Latvia (19 January – 23 March)

The exhibition of kinetic art “Visionary structures. From Ioganson to Johansons” merges the art of seven Latvian artists from different generations, each of whom has been an innovator – together they will tell a story of Latvian art and cultural values, as well as the exhibition contemplates our fate as historical subjects. Supervised by curator Ieva Astahovska, the exhibition is organized by the Latvian Center for Contemporary Art and includes the works of artists, like Gustav Klutsis (1895–1938), Karl Ioganson (1890–1929), Valdis Celms (1943), Jānis Krievs (1942), Artūrs Riņķis (1942), Gints Gabrāns (1970) and Voldemārs Johansons (1981).

Thematic division “Thirst for the Ocean”



* “Heartbeats” at Exhibition Hall “Arsenāls” (19 January – 20 April)

Christian Boltanski crushes boarders between life and death, past and present. “Hearbeats” reminds how fragile life is and that the boarder of death is crossed every moment. Visitors of the expo have the chance to record their heartbeats, which later are transferred to the project’s main sever – the heartbeat archive in Japan.

Thematic division “Freedom Street”

* “Zoon in a Zoot-suit” – exhibition, diary, and symposium at contemporary art center “kim?” (7 February – 16 March)

As part of the project “Waiting for…(the archeology of an idea)”, one of the most prominent new era philosophical texts, Benedict Spinoza’s “Ethics” will be discussed, visualized and restructured; the author of the idea – philosopher Ainārs Kamoliņš.

Thematic division “Thirst for the Ocean”

* re:visited at Riga ArtSpace (14 March – 27 April)

“re:visited” will feature works of 15-20 artists from abroad, who have been recognized in the most recent European art biennales.

Thematic division “Thirst for the Ocean”

* “Monument Wars” at the intersection of Brīvības and Elizabetes Streets (27 March – 30 November)

The project “Monument Wars” foresees placing an object in the center of Riga, on which in turn monuments from four countries – Russia, Germany, Sweden and Poland – will be displayed. The monuments will be displayed in the context of materials about the historic expansion of Germany, Russia, Poland and Sweden in Latvia. Visitors will be allowed to take pictures with these objects in the background, therefore symbolically becoming part of the exhibition. The curator of the project – Aigars Bikše.

Thematic division “Freedom Street”



* Exhibition of Vija Celmiņa's work at the Art Museum “Riga Bourse” (11 April – 22 June)

Exhibition of Vija Celmiņa’s work, curated by Elita Ansone, will be open for almost two months. The exhibition will feature various paintings, graphic and drawings. This will be a unique opportunity to study the artist’s pieces from 1960s that includes the portrayal of popart, photo realism and conceptualism.

Director Antra Cilinska currently is making a film about the artist as well, written about in the article “Up on the shelf with Warhol. Film about Vija Celmiņa in the works”.

Thematic division “Thirst for the Ocean”


* “Show-windows of Brīvības Street” on Brīvības Street (28 April – 28 May; event dates are subject to change)

The main goal of the „Skatlogi uz Brīvības ielu” („Show-windows of Brīvības Street ”) exhibition is to show the history of Brīvības Street in five different time periods, depending on the historical name for this street. Ten authentic show-windows from the respective historical period between 1914 and 2014 will be created from the corner of Brīvības and Elizabetes Streets till the corner of Brīvības and Stabu Streets. These show-windows will be historical mirrors, reflecting scenes from older times and representing the fashion, culture, political trends, etc., of the time period according to the vision of the artist.

Artist Anna Heinrihsone will create and implement the creative concept for the designs of the show-windows. Event dates are subject to change.

Thematic division “Freedom Street”


* “In spite of everything” at the so-called “Corner House” on Brīvības Street (30 April – 30 October)

Every European country is proud of its heritage of naïve art, therefore collections of it are assembled and promoted. The naïve art category in Latvia flourished in the period between 1950s and 1990s, when its development was indirectly spurred by WWII, followed by the occupation of Latvia. The exhibition will reflect the work of those creative personalities, whose lives were directly related to the occupation, deportation and the simple artistic impulse to resist an inhuman regime. Exhibition is created by Māra Ādiņa, Arno Jundze, Valters Māziņš, Guna Millersone, Astrīda Rogule, Alise Tīfentāle, Dzintars Zilgalvis, Valdis Poikāns, Aivars Leitis, Kate Zilgalve and Laima Āze.

Thematic division “Freedom Street”



* “The museum of fate symbols” at the so-called “Corner House” on Brīvības Street (30 April – 30 October)

“The museum of fate symbols” will encourage the public to donate objects and things, important to them, therefore confiding their life stories in this new museum. A new museum of objects of personal history will be revealed in 2014, put-together by the inhabitants of Riga. This new form of interactive social communication will take the observer into a world of material objects, forming an exposition palpably linked to human lives. Video versions of personal stories will also be a feature in the exhibition. A book will be published later as well that will summarize the most vivid stories and pictures of the objects. The author of the project is director and journalist Ilona Brūvere; the author of the design – artist Artis Rutks.

Thematic division “Freedom Street”


* “Blank Canvas: art ground, crime ground, play ground?” at “Nabaklab” and in urban environment (13 – 17 May)

The goal of the festival “Blank Canvas: art ground, crime ground, play ground?” is to encourage public understanding of street art with the help of discussions, presentations and artwork. The street art festival week will consist of two parts – in daytime, street artists together with participants and volunteers in previously selected and coordinated spots around different places in Riga will create art, while in the evenings, the audience will be introduced to street art to draw more public attention, as well as the chance to learn something new by attending lectures, discussions and workshops, hosted by professionals. Curator - Edgars Zvirgzdiņš.

Thematic division “Road Map”



* “Meet Me at the Museum!” at floating galleries “Noass” and “Betanovuss” (17 May – 1 October)

As part of the project “Meet Me at the Museum!”, the main exhibition of the Museum of Naïve Art Latvia will be displayed throughout the Summer till October. The museum, located on the AB quay, will feature an international collection. Professionals and artists, as well as guests and residents of the city will collaborate in the activities of the museum. Read more about the museum.

Thematic division “Survival Kit”


* The international exposition of contemporary art “In Search of the Horizon” at the Latvian Railway History museum (22 May – 20 July)

The international exhibition “In Search of the Horizon” stresses the search for horizonts - it is more than just the idealistic path of Latvian romp Dullais Dauka to the physically unattainable horizon, but also the search of the individual (microcosms) for balance, faced by the vastness of the Universe (macrocosm), and the eagerness to understand the order of the world. The Curator of the exhibition – Ieva Kalniņa.

Thematic division “Thirst for the Ocean”



* International exhibition “Amber in Contemporary Designer Jewelry” at art gallery “Putti” (23 May – 2 August)

The idea behind the international exhibition “Amber in Contemporary Designer Jewelry” was to show amber as material used in modern and contemporary jewelry, consistent with the professional art criteria. Participants of the exhibition are Latvian and foreign designers – contemporary jewelers from the states along the historic Amber Route – Russia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovenia, Hungary, and Italy.

Thematic division “Amber Vein”



* Contemporary art project “Alternative Grand Piano”. The hall and outdoor terrace of concert hall „Baltais flīģelis” (30 May at 19.00 pm)

During one whole night, starting at 19.00, several different new age outdoor music concerts will be held, the terrace of the concert hall will host a contemporary dance performance and at the end of the night, the commissioned piece “Koncerts septiņiem sintezatoriem III” (Concert on seven synths III) will be performed. The piece is composed by electronic music composer and “Dzelzs vilks” band member Kaspars Tobs, who is also one of the creators of the “Nature Concert Hall” project.


* Fest Naïve Moscow-Riga at floating galleries “Noass” and “Betanovuss” (9 June – 20 July)

Together with the main exposition of the Museum of Naïve Art Latvia and part of the project “Meet Me at the Museum!”, the venue will feature the international exposition of artistic outsiders, as well as the festival of naïve art “Fest Naïve Moscow-Riga” will be held.

Thematic division “Survival Kit”

* Outdoor exposition „Islands of Riga”. Cities in Latvia and Riga districts (1 July – 31 October)

Gundega Repše, the author of the descriptions, and Kaspars Goba, the author of the visual works, will take part in the outdoor exposition „Islands of Riga”. The exposition will later be displayed elsewhere.

Thematic division “Road Map”


* Exhibition “The Book 1514-2014” and series of lectures. The National Library of Latvia (1 July – 31 December)

The exhibition “The Book 1514-2014” will coincide with academic readings “The Content of XXI Century”, given by world known literary and cultural figures. Unique editions from European libraries will supplement the inter-active presentation methods, as well as will help to obtain the most information not only on publishing, but also about history, geography, politics, religion, art and music from 500 years ago. The exhibition will offer to experience Renaissance music, unique art work of such outstanding artists as Albrecht Durer and each month, the exhibition will feature lectures, during which prominent thinkers – such as Umberto Eco – will talk about the significance of reading and culture for individuals, as well as the society.

Thematic division “Thirst for the Ocean”



* Historic Ravenna mosaics and contemporary mosaic art at the National Library of Latvia (10 July – 21 August)

The book shelves of the library will display contemporary artist book mosaic (biblio mosaico) pieces from the Ravenna library „Biblioteca Classense di Ravenna” collection. The project also includes discussions about historic mosaics, as well as contemporary mosaic art work.

Thematic division “Thirst for the Ocean”



* “Gustav Klutsis (1895–1938). Anatomy of an Experiment”. Exhibition Hall “Arsenāls” (22 August – 26 October)

The exhibition of the National Museum of Art and partnering institutions, “Gustav Klutsis (1895–1938). Anatomy of an Experiment” will be open for two months. It will offer an in-depth view of the life and art of the outstanding Latvian artist Gustav Klutsis.

Thematic division “Freedom Street”


* Contemporary art festival “Survival Kit”. Several locations around Riga (4 – 21 September)

The International Contemporary Arts Festival “Survival Kit” in 2014 encourages to view the city as a utopia through the exhibition and ample urban objects. The exhibition will consist of three parts – the historic review of the city’s architectonic, social and political utopias, starting from the works of French architect Claude Nicolas Ledoux, the British group “Archigram”, as well as Latvian kinetic artists and other projects. The contemporary part of the expo will contain works of Latvian and foreign artists, who will discuss the modern changes in the city. The biggest part of the expo will be art pieces in the urban environment. Participants: Exyzt (France), Cardbordia (Russia), Apolonija Šušteršič (Slovenia/the Netherlands) and others. The festival also foresees satellite programmes in the creative quarters of Riga.

Thematic division “Survival Kit”



* In Search of Future Art. Voldemārs Matvejs and non-European (African, Pacific North Asian) Art at the Art Museum “Riga Bourse” (5 September – 26 October)

The project “In Search of Future Art. Voldemārs Matvejs and non-European (African, Oceanian and North Asian) Art” aims to promote dialogue about the versatility and interaction of world culture heritage. In the project, the Latvian National Museum of Art collaborates with the National Library of Latvia, the information centre of the Art Academy of Latvia, Musée du quai Branly (Paris), The National Museum of Ethnology (Leiden), Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) Russian Academy of Sciences (St. Petersburg), L'Institut français de Lettonie (Institute of France in Latvia) and the Goethe Institute (Riga).

Thematic division “Amber Vein”



* From Riga to Daugavpils – by Rothko’s Train. Riga – Daugavpils (24 – 26 September)

On the second day of the conference, on 25 September, exhibition of contemporary art of Latvia will be opened. The journey by train will be enriched with screenings of films and informal discussions. The exhibition is construed as a research project, aimed to reflect the present scene of painting in Latvia, drawing parallels with Rothko and the outlook of the abstract expressionism today.

Thematic division “Thirst for the Ocean”



* Contemporary art exhibition, lectures, discussions and campaigns in the city/urban environment. Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, Art Academy of Latvia and city/urban environment (7 November – 25 January)

In Riga, contemporary art expo of Orlan will take place, as well as she will give a lecture at the Art Academy of Latvia. Roundtable discussions with art and film experts from Latvia and France will be held and Orlan is expected to give a performance during the opening of the exhibition. The exhibition is supported by the L'Institut français de Lettonie (Institute of France in Latvia), curator – Inese Baranovska.

Thematic division “Riga Carnival”

* Art exhibition and conference “The Amber of Tutankhamun” at the Art Museum “Riga Bourse” (14 November – 31 December)

An art exhibition and a conference will be organized as part of the project “Amber of Tutankhamun”. This is a project is a collaboration between the Latvian National Museum of Art, the National Museum of Cairo, the Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities in Stockholm, the Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis National Art Museum in Kaunas, the National Museum of Art of Lithuania and the Regional Archeological Museum in Potenza, Italy. The conference is organized in partnership with the University of Latvia; the Louvre Department of Ancient Egypt is the scientific consultant of the project.

Thematic division “Amber Vein”


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