I’ve just returned from Riga the capital of Latvia in the Baltic region and I’m still reeling from the energy that this small dedicated artist community has to offer. Out–lands Survival Kit 10.0 has been running for ten years and has joined forces with The Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art in collaboration with Goethe-Institut. The September festival was titled Tukšā | Telpa – Leer | Stelle.
A first-rate exhibition which included Installation Art, Video, Photography, Painting and Sculpture
The organisers have made a noble effort in finding an interesting location for the event and this year it was held in a dilapidated former circus building, one of Europe’s earliest purpose-built circus arenas. The rough and ready location was often challenging but by escaping the standard white cube gallery format the event presented an original result.
The Out–lands Survival Kit 10.0 event was not only a first-rate exhibition which included Installation Art, Video, Photography, Painting and Sculpture but also an in-depth programme of highly intelligent talks and performances of an international standard.
SURVIVAL KIT 10 through selection investigated the concept of outland, questioning the traditional division of geopolitical and cultural space into centre and periphery.
This year the curators were Solvita Krese and Inga Lāce from the Latvian Centre of Contemporary Art joined by curator Sumesh Sharma from Bombay as well as Barcelona and Berlin-based curator Àngels Miralda. Sharma is one of the founders of Clark House Initiative, an association of artists and curators, while Miralda has worked with exhibitions in the Santiago Museum of Contemporary Art in Chile and elsewhere.
And Now for the art: Here Are 10 Of My Favourites
Nasr- Eddine Bennacer in collaboration with Krishna Reddy On evolution and links between civilisations these rice paper works were located in the dome of the circus hall.
The installation was created using sleeping bags and ceramic dog’s heads. It represents outcasts and evokes discussion about the current refugee crisis.
Kader Attia created Reflecting Memory exploring the medical phenomenon of phantom limbs.
Through vintage family footage mostly in 8 and 16 mm stock Judy Blum Reddy explores Jewish Refugees as they do everyday things like going to birthday parties playing with dogs and celebrating Christmas?
Cassius Fadlabi Tirailleur is a Sudanese artist who uses mediums from mural painting to Conceptual art to tell a story of his life’s journey. In his latest mural he has depicted Laika the cosmonaut dog flying aboard Sputnik.
Zile Ziemele, a recent painting graduate from the Art Academy of Latvia has immersed herself in the Roma community, painting her subjects and garnering an understanding of the often brutal lifestiles of her street savvy subjects.
This group of poets utilised the central space to create a sound and visual text work in three languages. The performance piece relates to the circus building which once housed animals and trapeze artists.
Anastasia Sosunova has created a video installation based on the experiments of a Russian scientist Vladimir Demikhov who pioneered organ transplants
JANEK SIMON Ashes and Diamonds [Popiół i diament] in the Nigerian film industry – Nollywood, as well as about the numerous contexts in which the project is inscribed: the issue of the assessment of communism in Poland, the history of Nigeria and the manner of construction of nationalism in Africa, the relations between peripheries or the history of black cinematography. Also an overview of Simon’s work touched on Auroville in Southern India.
Cibelle Cavalli Bastos Las Venus Resort Hotel creates an environment reminiscent of a chill-out room in a seedy hotel.
Words/Photos Paul Carter Robinson © Artlyst 2018
These are only a few examples of the engaging art on display at Out–lands Survival Kit 10.0 Festival runs until 1st October 2018