The New Architecture School of the Art Academy of Latvia (LMAA) resumes the events related to upcoming architecture school with the first autumn episode of SALONS* featuring two special guests – curator, architect and writer James Taylor-Foster and choreographer, performance artist Ula Sickle. The event will take place in culture space gallery Smilga on Wednesday, Oct 5 starting at 19.00.

SALONS is envisioned and organised as a gathering place run by LMAA (and emerging Agency  – a platform of communication and activism within the school) and the recently founded Institute of Contemporary Art, Design and Architecture (LMDA). SALONS does not have a defined venue. The events will be held regularly in various locations by inviting notable guests and looking for unexpected topics. The primary aim of SALONS is to expand local architecture scenius, uncover issues related to contemporary architecture practice, and prepare for the launch of the new architecture school as a shared process that involves the diverse network of thinkers, creatives, professionals and wider society.

The episode will be opened by James Taylor-Foster followed by a uniquely prepared site specific happening – a hypnosis session performed by renowned choreographer Ula Sickle. The first part will be continued by a discussion where guests will engage in conversation with LMAA creators Austris Mailitis, Niklavs Paegle, Antra Priede, Dina Suhanova, Dagnija Smilga, Toms Kokins and Thomas Randall-Page, aiming to broaden the understanding, imagine, and speculate about the future of the discipline of architecture.

Stockholm-based James Taylor-Foster is a writer and cultural critic trained in architecture. Being former editor and author at ArchDaily, currently he is the curator of contemporary architecture and design at ArkDes, the Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design. He has developed a number of curatorial projects in Stockholm including, most recently, the first museum exhibitions to explore the culture and creative field of ASMR. In 2021 his first collaborative collection of essays, titled softspot, was published. Last year James also was a co-editor of Solicited: Proposals – project initiated by ArkDes and e-flux Architecture as a shared effort to parse the architecture exhibition, to untangle and rethink its meaning and its potential for today.

Ula Sickle is a Canadian / Polish choreographer and performer based in Brussels, Belgium. From a background in contemporary dance, she works across disciplines, drawing from the visual arts or contemporary music. While her work takes many forms, she focuses on a choreographic approach to movement and works on perception and reception, specific to the live arts.

Ula studied Art History & Semiotics at the University of Toronto and Performance Studies at Paris VIII, before attending P.A.R.T.S. (Performing Arts Research and Training Studios) in Brussels. From 2008 to 2010 she pursued her interest in film, studying at Le Fresnoy, a post-graduate media program in the North of France. She is currently a PhD researcher at KU Leuven University and Luca School of Arts in Brussels. Ula's artistic work takes on different forms, from video to installations and stage performances. Technology and the relationship between man and device is a common thread through her productions – bodies engage in dialogue with smartphones, amplifiers, microphones or light sources. Ula has been often presented in international theaters and festivals.

October 5, 2022, 19.00
Culture space gallery “Smilga”, Street E. Smiļģa 34A, Riga
The event is free and will be held in English. There is no live online broadcast planned. We want to meet you in person – Smilga bar will be available to boost informal conversations.

SALONS is organised by the Art Academy of Latvia, ĒTER Architects and financially supported by the State Culture Capital Foundation. Informative partner – the Association of Latvian Architects. The event is included in the Architecture week 2022 program.

Curators: Dagnija Smilga (ĒTER, LMAA) and Dina Suhanova (LMDA, LMAA). Graphic design: Goda Budvytytė

*The Salon is a fashionable assemblage of notables, gathering of literary figures, artists, or statesmen etc. held by a host – either to please, entertain or to educate.