Latvian Pavilion – 55th Biennale di Venezia. June 1st – November 24th 2013

Latvian Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale
May 25, 2013 9:42PM

Artists: Kaspars Podnieks, Krišs Salmanis

Commissioners: Zane Čulkstēna and Zane Onckule

Curators: Anne Barlow, Courtenay Finn, Alise Tīfentāle

Organized by: kim? Contemporary Art Centre and Art in General

Commissioners Zane Čulkstēna and Zane Onckule are delighted to announce that the artists Kaspars Podnieks and Krišs Salmanis will represent Latvia at the 55th Venice Biennale. The project will be co-curated by Anne Barlow, Director, and Courtenay Finn, Curator, of Art in General, New York, and independent curator and art historian Alise Tīfentāle on behalf of kim?, Riga, Latvia. The Biennale exhibition, titled North by North-East, presents a new site-specific work that explores the artists’ relationship to the natural and ever-shifting man-made world—including perceived borders and centers in Europe—and that investigate the concepts and conditions of identity, uncertainty, and the ‘in-between.’ 

A New York press conference will be held with the participating artists and representatives from Art in General and kim? on March 5, 2013, during Armory Week. The Biennale collaboration heralds one of several new partnerships between Art in General and organizations in Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Egypt, among others, that will support the commissioning of new work and international exchange throughout 2013.

Kaspars Podnieks (b. 1980) has been participating in exhibitions since 1998. His work encompasses photography, video, installations, and environmental objects. His most recent group exhibitions include Generation of the Place: Image, Memory and Fictions in Baltics (2012) in Kaunas, Lithuania;Preview Berlin (2011) in Berlin; Life in the Forest (2011) in Bialystok, Poland, and solo exhibitionsUnusual Place (2010) and Communicating Vessels (2011) at kim? Contemporary Art Centre in Riga, Latvia. Since 2005 Kaspars Podnieks has taken part in social and political activities in his home village Drusti—being a deputy of Drusti Council (since 2005), a Drusti Council chairman’s legal representative (since 2007) and a deputy of Rauna’s region (since 2010).

Krišs Salmanis (b. 1977) works with photography, video, installations, animation and graphics and has participated in exhibitions internationally since 1996. His latest solo exhibitions include Light (2012) in CAC Vilnius, Lithuania; The Fragility of Trust (2012) at gallery Alma in Riga, Latvia; The Earth may be spinning around the Sun, but the World is turning around me (2011) Raum linksrechts in Hamburg, Germany; and Moving Landscape (2011) at Galerie fűr Gegenwartskunst in Bremen, Germany. Since 2008 Krišs Salmanis has contributed articles on contemporary art processes for the visual arts magazine Studija and contributes to other daily press on a regular basis.

kim? Contemporary Art Centre (Riga, Latvia)kim? Contemporary Art Centre resides in a red 19th-century brick warehouse located near the Riga Central Market. The name of kim? is no less than an abbreviation of an insistent question “what is art?” (“kas ir māksla?” in Latvian). Founded in 2009, the organization offers a certain range of activities including exhibitions, lectures, talks, a public library, publications and other events related to recent art, theory and social issues introduced by the means of a local and international body of ideas, beliefs and individuals. kim? supports the development of emerging artists, theoreticians, curators, philosophers and others, aiming to provide a responsive context to their work and to make  those critical practices accessible to a wider audience. 

Art in General (NY, USA)Art in General is a nonprofit art organization based in New York City. Founded as an artist-run space in 1981, it has since supported and curated hundreds of artists’ projects through solo and group exhibitions, international residency programs and the production of new work.  Its current programmatic focus is the commissioning of major new projects by local and international artists, collaborations with dynamic international art organizations, and the creation of new discourse through talks, publications, and What Now?, an annual international symposium around critical topics in the field.

Latvian Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale