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Solvita Krese

The wave of institutional critique that Europe has faced in the 60s and 70s, due to historical circumstances has bypassed many countries of Eastern Europe, int. al. Latvia. In the 90s when institutional critique was widely emerging in the field of visual art in Latvia, only first steps of formation of independent art institutions were made.

Latvian situation is determined also by a chronic space deficiency for contemporary art activities, which makes new organisations practice nomadic way of activity, turning into mobile units responding to immediate circumstances, realizing their activities on the web, occupying abandoned buildings or adjusting themselves to formats typical of subculture. Thus, by evading formation of hierarchic and stable structures, “owing” probably also to the specifics of education system and socio-political background, the Latvian art space has appeared to evade also articulation of critical discourse. Lack of critical intent prevents us not only from reviewing activities of art institutions through the focus of institutional critique but also promotes domination of passive socio-political intonation in the field of arts.

The project “Trajectories” would offer a possibility to take part in the critique discourse which recently has become actual in European art scene. It would also enhance the Latvia’s art scene to become a part of international art world.

Project “Trajectories” is an attempt to explore the changing role of art and its institutions and their interaction both in local and global context. There have been invited four curators to implement the project: by choosing diverse strategies – trajectories — they will develop artistic event series which will be exhibited in Riga on March – April 2006.

TRAJECTORY 1 - Curator Maria Lind has an intention to establish her own “institution” in an alternative exhibition space where artists are invited to create and demonstrate their projects. The invited artists: Pierre Hughe and Philippe Parreno (France) with the project “No ghost just a shell”, Bik Van der Pol (The Netherlands) with the project “Nomads & residents”, as well two Latvian young artists have been invited to create works.

TRAJECTORY 2 - Curator Gregor Podnar has intended to update the tradition of conceptualism and the influence it had on criticism that emerged in the 1960’s; the curator will also focus on the necessity to change the context of East European art history. Works of the following authors will be exposed: Bruno Vasilevskis, Leonards Laganovskis, Gints Gabrans (Latvia), IRWIN group (Slovenia), Magnus Larsson (Sweden), Vadim Fiskin (Russia/Slovenia).

TRAJECTORY 3 - Curator Stella Rollig will focus on deconstruction and exploring of art institutions and communication space. The invited artists – Uli Aigner (Austria/Germany), Michael Blum (Germany), Katrina Neiburga, and the group PURECULTURE (Latvia).

TRAJECTORY 4 - Curator Mara Traumane will explore the praxis of processual art that acts in a way as a critic of representation and institutionalism. The new forms of performances will be demonstrated, DIY praxis and interdisciplinarity will be introduced. The invited artists: Hayley Newman (Great Britain), Tanja Ostojic (Serbia/Germany), Harun Faroki (Germany) and the multimedia group “Chicks on speed” (Germany/ USA).

Artistic event series “Trajectories” will be carried out on March – April 2006 in Riga.

The project is organized by: Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art
The project is financially supported by: the State Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia, European Commission program “Culture 2000”

Solvita Krese