‘Riga episode’ [2023 | EN]



EU4ART_Differences _Riga episode [EN]

Reflection on my participation in the program co-organized by the Survival Kit 14 festival and the Art Academy of Latvia.


The framework of the project:

The EU4ART “Differences” project || “Diversity – Artistic Research in the European Union” involves four partner institutions, the Art Academy of Latvia (AAL), the Art Academy of Rome, the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts and the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts, developing the field of artistic research through various public events. One of these events was the performative action of the artists Claus Schöning Lam Yong (DE), Bernadett Jobbágy (HU), Nele Hartmann (DE) and Līva Rutmane-Kalniņa (LV), jointly organized by the Art Academy of Latvia (AAL) and the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art (LCCA), on 8th September 2023 at Vidzeme Market, as part of the Survival Kit 14 contemporary art festival. In the course of the action, new forms of dialogue were sought to explore the possibilities of combining individual contemporary artistic practices and, in particular, their collective expression, in order to revive the changing nature of artistic processuality.


Experiences of the week, in brief:

We spent four intense and inspiring days together. During the first two days, we participated in lectures and workshops, and as well visited some of the contemporary art venues in Riga, including the premise of Survival Kit 14 contemporary art festival which was the space of our performance as well, at the recently vacant Vidzeme market (Vidzemes tirgus, farmers market), where the installation of the exhibition was going on. Some of the workshops were held by artists exhibiting at the Survival Kit 14 festival, so we were able to interact more directly with them (namely with Angela Ferreira and Rebecca Pokua Korang) because of the time we spent together. The third and fourth days were dedicated to devising the performance together, putting it together and then presenting it on the afternoon of Day 4. In the meantime, of course, we went to the opening of the exhibition and related events, and I also got to go to some of the events of the Homo Novus contemporary international theatre festival, which ran parallel to the visual arts festival.

The question was open: can 4 strangers, after 2 days of acquaintance, in 2 (that is, 1.5) days, enter into a dialogue with each other, and from this dialogue, can they formulate something for the audience? Antra Priede, Vice-Rector, Head of the LMA’s Curator Training, indicated during our opening workshop that it might not happen; and that it also makes sense. Learning from situations that fail, acknowledging when something doesn’t work or we’re not able to make it work – that has value too. Basically, of course, we worked to make it work, and to move from four solitary actions to a common, intertwined situation in which we are equal partners. In relation to the theme of this year’s Survival Kit exhibition – Long-distance Friendships (curated by Inga Lāce and Alicia Knock) –, our performance reflected on issues of distance and proximity, and the place and role of art in general and our own artistic research in particular in this relationship. Our loosely understood, self-defined time frame was a “Zoom meeting’s time”, which, however, was already running in the background projection before the event itself started, during the intro speech, while we were filming the process of arrival.


Workshops and lectures:

  • lecture by Antra Priede, Vice-rector, Head of Curatoria course
  • lecture “Synesthetic Approach in Artistic Research” by Phd. Diāna Zandberga, Director of Joint Professional Doctoral Study Programme in Arts “Arts”, Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music
  • presentation of our artistic work and research for each other
  • lecture by Phd. Raitis Šmits, Professor, founder and artistic director of RIXC Center for New Media Culture
  • lecture and workshop by Angela Ferreira
  • lecture and workshop by Rebecca Pokua Korang


Studio and exhibition visit:

  • visiting the gallery and the exhibition in RIXC Center for New Media Culture, exploring the library and books of RIXC with Phd. Raitis Šmits professor
  • studio visit in art studios of AAL’s Joint Professional Doctoral Study Program in Arts, artist talk with one of the artists in the program
  • Exploration and visit to Survival Kit festival premises at the Vidzemes market


Riga episode – performative action

In the action, I also placed a touch exploration section, which invites you to directly and practically experience a small slice of my research. Indirectly. And at the same time very directly.
It is a challenge, because there is only a very short time to really observe the touch, to be in it, since the performance is already going on, and the projector is still projecting the images transmitted by the current ‘cameraman’. Something might appear anyway; maybe something can be carried on from it.

moments of touch exploration || cells are touching cells || arrival, presence, being there




BIO-s of the artists: on the website of Survival

Photos: on EU4art FB page


The documented performance also showcased pieces by Adela Součková from her installation “One for Birth, Two for Place, Three for Struggle, Four for Form, Five for Rest, Six for Pleasure, Seven for Death,” created between 2017-2023.

Photo credit: Kaspars Grosbergs
#artisticresearch #EU4ART #differences #eu4artdifferences