“Re:visited”. A Broader World View in Contemporary Art

“Re:visited”. A Broader World View in Contemporary Art
Kaspars Garda, Riga 2014
The contemporary art exhibition “Re:visited” opened at the Riga Art Space on the 14th of March – one of the “Riga 2014” events where curator Solvita Krese has brought together what she believes to be the most striking and important contemporary artworks from various European art biennials.

“The exhibition gives us the chance to visit various countries and see different cultures, get to know many people and learn of their world views. Living in Latvia, each of us have developed our own and clear perception of what we think and know about the local culture, but we always need to have fresh knowledge of how people view the world in other countries. This is the reason why the exhibition “Re:visited” has been organised and included in the “Riga 2014” programme, so people could have the opportunity to see what is beyond the horizon, what do people think there, how do other nations live and what is their opinion about  current developments,” said the head of programming, Aiva Rozenberga, commenting on the exhibition during a “Re:visited” media luncheon on the 13th of March.

She emphasized that the current events in the Ukraine and other political and social developments also have an impact on artistic vision. This is what the exhibition is about: various psychological facts and processes, political developments, and traditions.

“Assemblage” by Kristīne Alksne, a Latvian artist, is also on display at the exhibition. The work was created especially for this exhibition in collaboration with the digital technology and sound artist Emmanuel Pidré from Argentina.

“This exhibition gave me the opportunity to create a new artwork. I took the risk of making something new and extraordinary. I offered Emmanuel Pidré from Argentina – we lived together in Berlin – an opportunity to collaborate on the project,” says Kristīne Alksne. This is an experimental work – interpretation of sounds into an artistic language. The basis is electronic music visualised in pieces of concrete of various shapes.

 

“We were thinking for a long time how to combine these things, how music could be translated into a shape, as in sculpture. But we succeeded and I am pleased at what we have created. We chose electronic music compositions, which will also be performed during the opening of the exhibition, which Emmanuel processed using special software to transform music into an image, and using these graphic images we created sculptures. Each of the sculptures at the exhibition has its own song,” is what the  artist Kristīne Alksne explained to “Riga 2014” when speaking about her work showcased at the “Re:visited” exhibition.

“This is symbolically important as the “Riga 2014” programme envisages that we not only enrich the cultural life of Riga and Latvia, which is already rich, but also give it a new dimension.

It is therefore crucial for Latvian artists to be represented in a broader international context,” says Aiva Rozenberga commenting on Kristīne Alksne’s participation in the international exhibition.

The exhibition “Re:visited” presents works from such art exhibitions as La Triennale in Paris, European biennial of contemporary art “Manifesta”, The Berlin Biennale, The Venice Biennale, The Moscow Biennale and others.

For example, the photography project “Mothers and Daughters-in-Law” by Uzbek artist and human rights activist Umida Akhmedova is from the 5th Moscow Biennale, depicting new relatives shortly after their weddings. The project explores the Uzbek tradition according to which, a man’s bride is chosen by his mother, and the psychological conflict such a family creation model creates.

Also on display is the “Marriage Room. Museum of Contemporary African Art” by the Benin-born Dutch artist Meschac Gaba that participated in the third Triennale in Paris. Part of the artist’s project “Museum of Contemporary African Art” showcases a mixture of various objects that represent the artist’s African and his spouse’s Dutch origins, celebrating the importance of various elements of different origins. Unfortunately, only part of Gaba’s work has arrived in Riga, because following the Paris Triennale it was bought by the “Tate Modern”, in London.

The opening of the exhibition was also attended by the Croatian artist Igor Grubić, who is represented at the exhibition by his photography and video project “Angels with Dirty Faces”, previously exhibited at the “Manifesta 9”. The work is inspired by Wim Wenders’ film “Wings of Desire” (1987), featuring Kolubara region’s coal miners with angel’s wings. Kolubara is a region in former Yugoslavia where a coal miners’ strike began in 2000, eventually bringing down the Milošević regime.

 

The exhibition also presents German artist Konstanze Schmitt’s sound installation “Milda”, based on Sergey Tretyakov’s play “I Want a Baby”, Tunisia-born French choreographers Selma and Sofiane Ouissi’s video project “Laaroussa”, Brazilian artist Paulo Nazareth’s work from the series “Notes from Africa” featuring various objects he found during a tour of Africa, the unusual Dutch-Belgian artist Mark Manders’ sculpture “Fox/Mouse/Belt (Self-Portrait as a Building)” and much more.

The entire list of the artists participating in the exhibition: Umida Akhmedova (Uzbekistan), Kristīne Alksne (Latvia) and Emmanuel Pidré (Argentina, Germany), Paweł Althamer (Poland), Petra Brauer (Sweden) & Marius Dybwad Brandrud, (Sweden), Meschac Gaba, (Benin/the Netherlands), Igor Grubić (Croatia), Rana Hamadeh (Lebanon/the Netherlands), Jumaadi (Indonesia), Eva Kotátková (the Czech Republic), Nicolas Kozakis & Raoul Vaneigem (Belgium), Ann Lislegaard (Norway), Jumana Manna, (U.S./Germany) and Sille Storihle (Norway), Antonio Vega Macotela (Mexico), Mark Manders (the Netherlands), Paulo Nazareth (Brazil), Selma and Sofiane Ouissi (Tunisia), Konstanze Schmitt (Germany) and Corin Sworn (Great Britain).

The exhibition “Re:visited” is on show at the Riga Art Space (Kungu iela 3, Riga) every day from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. except Mondays. Tickets – EUR 3, family and group tickets are also available. The exhibition will run until April 27.

The exhibition “Re:visited” is part of the “Riga 2014” programme’s thematic line “Thirst for the Ocean”.

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