The Project of the Art Academy of Latvia "ORIGIN / Fabric as a Concept and Material of Latvian Identity"
From 2/02/2018 – 18/03/2018
at the exhibition hall "Riga Art Space"
Artifacts, senses, stories, and events form the very essence of Latvian culture, captured the best in the Latvian Song and Dance Festival and in the smell of bacon pies on a Sunday morning. We encounter and recognize it in Latvia's national holidays, experiences and time-honored traditions, everyday life and household objects; we associate this code with our country, and we feel a sense of belonging to it. The centenary of the Latvian state is the story of our origin. And this project is about it, as well.
The question of our origin is an important and complex subject whose answer lies in a personal intimacy and in a national community. Origin is a collection of special and unique elements that make up our nation's color spectrum; whether they are calm, stubborn, temperamental or inert, this collection determines the unique and distinctive Latvian flavor.
The process of origin is approached from two interacting dimensions: a part and a whole, i.e. a person and a nation. And like individual sand grains form the beach, individual people with their unique, yet familiar code form the nation. By having a dialogue with a fundamental, in their opinion, characteristic of Latvia and Latvians, exhibiting artists investigate the Latvian origin and its personal story, building up an image identifying the Latvian culture code, which either confirms or contradicts our assumptions about ourselves.
The goal of the project is not to find straight and immediate answers, but rather to experience and to appreciate the valuable process of identifying one's identity. The consciousness of origin increases the opportunity to purposefully work towards reaching the top.
Fiber and fabric touch our body from the moment of birth to the moment of burial. The structure of the fabric – a successive, mutually interactive, progressive system that emerges from a tiny fiber and grows into a common and stable structure – is kindred to the structure of a nation.
As one of the main conceptual lines of the project, fabric is highlighted as fundamental not only in terms of its materiality and domestic usefulness, but also as a valuable semantic characteristic of the Latvian language with symbolic meaning in the culture and Latvian folk wisdom, thus demonstrating its stability in ideas and concepts.
Our nation's origin stories are different – some people are born with a silver spoon in their mouth, while others spend their lives with a lump in the throat, airing the neighbors' dirty linen in public, or scheming; however, together we create the unique pattern and nuances of our country.
"ORIGIN / Fabric as a Concept and Material of Latvian Identity" is the creators' story about their country's identity, its strength and weakness, personality aspects, and delights and hardships, which mark our peculiarities and continue to create new and motivating stories about Latvia.
The project includes exhibition, educational lectures, creative workshops for children, meetings with artists, as well as a presentation of a catalog and a short film.
Agnese Bule, Aigars Bikše, Aija Baumane, Andra Gulbe, Anete Agneta Krišjanova, Anna Aizsilniece, Anna Rubene-Zīdere, Arvīds Endziņš senior and Arvīds Endziņš junior, Baiba Osīte, Baiba Vaivade, Barbara Ābele, Daina Dagnija, Dārta Stafecka, Diāna Janušone, Diāna Potapova and Sandra Agrita Greivule, Elīna Elere, Elīna Ģibiete, Elīna Veilande-Apine, Ieva Krūmiņa, Ilze Kupča, Ingūna Levša, Jana Purmale, Jānis Bankovičs, Jānis Murovskis, Kristaps Andersons, Kristaps Ģelzis, Kristaps Priede, Lilita Bauģe, Līga Ķempe, Līga Mergina, Līga Sakse, Maija Puncule, Maija Rozenfelde, Marta Ģibiete, Mārtiņš and Laura Veļa, Olga Antipenko, Raitis Hrolovičs, Rasma Pušpure, Reinis Bērziņš, Rita Ļegčiļina-Broka, Roberts Rūrāns, Rolands Briedis, Rolands Krutovs, Rūdolfs Matīss Trops, Ūna Laukmane, Velga Vītola and Vitolds Kucins
Curator: Elīna Ģibiete
Coordinator: Agnese Bloka and Baiba Nurža
Scenography: Kristians Brekte
Visual Identity and Design: Mareks Hofmanis
Photographs: Reinis Hofmanis
Text Revision: Inga Žolude
Short Film: Rolands Briedis
The Art Academy of Latvia, together with the Association of Culture Institutions of Riga City Council and the exhibition hall "Riga Art Space"
The State Culture Capital Foundation, Riga City Council, RCC ECSD, the Art Academy of Latvia