VEF Spring Somersault and fear test in addition
To witness the process of art
Asked to explain what is to be made of the project title ‘In Search of the Horizon’ and their kinds of ‘creative workshops,’ Kaspars tells, in conversation with cultural portal 'Riga 2014,' that their collaboration with historian of art and curator of this project Ieva Kulakova had started a year ago.
‘Laboratory is a place where we experiment and test the ground aiming to probe the modes of presenting art work and its perception by the audience. Perhaps, what is decisive here is not so much the alternative environment, but rather other things we try to test in experiment. For example, photography is presented in print or projection, enlarged or reduced, to be perceived in plain or with music. We have prepared questionnaires we ask our public to fill and that is how we get our feed back, we see how our product is perceived and what emotions its presentation arouses,’ Kaspars gives one of the examples of laboratory experiment. It is a good way to test the ideas, for the artists, prior to larger exhibitions when there is no wish to experiment. ‘This is why we have labs, which don’t aspire to the status of exhibitions; it is for a reason that we write in our publicity materials that we offer experiment and test,’ explains the director of the art center, adding that it is not a place where you come to receive art.
This is definitely a place for people interested in the process of creation of art, which you come to witness.
Eight such experiments are planned in total, which will follow the thematic range and structure of the exhibition Ieva Kulakova has planned.
Your chance to take fright
Two such experiments have been held last year, while, on Saturday, April 20, the third one will take place – namely, fear will be put to test! Asked how it can be realized Kaspars admits that the organizers of the event have made effort to study human emotions a little bit – the ones that generate fear. ‘We will use the creation of young artist Katrīna Sauškina and present it intending to provoke fear. We will offer questionnaires where the audience will be able to answer whether it worked or not.’ Is Katrīna’s work so frightening as to generate fear in the viewer?
‘The art work itself – no, nothing frightening is depicted there. But it is a thankful product for this experiment, being rich in meanings. I won’t say that it is difficult to perceive, but there are as many opinions as there are people.’ The work will be presented in video, and now the art center is discussing the best mode of its presentation.
‘The mode of the presentation of art work can significantly influence the mode of its perception – there is a difference in seeing it in a well lit room or – accompanied by a scary sounding music. Then, the way it ‘works’ is changed.’
‘Whether or not Katrīna’s work will be seen in the ‘horizons’ next year, I still cannot tell. It is for Ieva to decide. Therefore, this may be your only chance to test your fears,’ Kaspars laughs. He adds that the public is fond of these experiments, people are curious enough even to wait in line to get in. ‘Works presented and their surrounding environment create a special feeling. I am willing to see these works and experiments myself, but last year I was too late in line. Of course, I take part in preparations and so on, but that is different thing.’ By the way, laboratory will be open from four in the afternoon till ten at night, so the fear test will be available to as many people as possible.
Jazz, contemporary dance, slams and other activities
Previewing the program to be offered on Saturday, Kaspars underlines that all the creative spots of the VEF territory, as they call them between themselves, will be open for attendance: ‘Totaldobže’, café Ziema, fear range Psaiho.lv, the skate-park, and creative workshops. Activities will begin with a concert for children, given by young jazz musicians; an academic composer will teach kids a song, this relay–race to be taken over by the animation artist Reinis Pētersons and jazz drummer Artis Orups. ‘Choreographer of contemporary dance Kristīne Vismane will talk to those who are interested in her form of art and demonstrate how it develops.’ After an hour-long concert, children will be invited to see creative workshops and try their hand in silk screening or delve into the secrets of photography, while the skate park will open its international skateboard competition.
‘These activities are planned for until about four in the afternoon, while our ‘Retro spectro vintage’ market will also be open. At half past seven, we begin our poetry slam, concert of improvisation and performances of DJs and groups. We have taken care to ensure that you have plenty to do until have past two in the morning!’ Kaspars is proud and reminds that families with children are invited for the day program, while the night is reserved for those who enjoy democratic events. ‘We have never had to complain about the shortage of public; perhaps, we will have to think how we can accommodate everybody who wants to come,’ he is glad to say and adds that the program of the event is found on http://www.totaldobze.lv/ website. And there is a good chance that Saturday will not disappoint in terms of the weather as well!