Divdabis. Duet of Artists from Different Eras: Jānis Borgs / Kaspars Groševs
As part of the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art’s cycle of exhibitions Divdabis, an exhibition of Jānis Borgs and Kaspars Groševs, vivid Latvian artists from two eras, will be on show at the 4th Floor Exhibition Halls of the main building of the Latvian National Museum of Art in Riga (Jaņa Rozentāla laukums 1) from 5 May to 28 May 2017.
EXHIBITION CYCLE DIVDABIS
From May to August 2017, the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art (LCCA) organizes a cycle of exhibitions in the Latvian National Museum of Art (LNMA) bringing together two different personalities and space-times of Latvian art. The LCCA has chosen three vivid duos that include notable artists of their epoch: Jānis Borgs and Kaspars Groševs, Atis Ieviņš and Inga Meldere, Oļegs Tillbergs and Jānis Filipovičs. Specially for these exhibitions, works made in the 70-90s of the 20th century have been reconstructed and new works are produced, surveying the conditions and context which has affected creative processes in different eras.
A string of artists which were active in the 1970s – 1990s have traced the development of Latvian contemporary art and have become important markers on the art map. Nevertheless, for several decades their work has only fragmentarily been accessible to the general public. Through the reconstruction and interpretation of works from this period, the cycle of exhibitions is an attempt to fill in the blank or little-known chapters in art history, and, in a broader sense – to make these works and their context accessible to a contemporary audience.
The first exhibition from the cycle Divdabis will open on 4 May, showing artworks by Jānis Borgs and Kaspars Groševs. Both artists are pioneers of their respective eras. Jānis Borgs (1946), a designer and art critic, in the 70s realized many conceptual works which remained misunderstood, because they did not fit the ruling ideology of the Soviet time and therefore also the society’s understanding of art and its available technologies. Kaspars Groševs (1983) is a contemporary experimental and sound artist, founder and curator of the first artist run gallery in Riga.
Curator of the exhibition Andra Silapētere reveals that with the help of contemporary technology, including 3D virtual reality glasses, two Borgs’ projects have been reconstructed and recreated: “The object Energy from 1976 was designed for installation near the recently renovated Baltic Electrical Distribution Centre in Šmerlis, yet the impressive ten-meter-high prismoid composition did not materialize, since polished stainless steel, which was to be used in its execution, turned out to be an inaccessible resource of military importance. Meanwhile the second project is a series of conceptual drawings from 1977, which could not be realized in its original form due to lack of the necessary computer technology.”
Groševs’ works, on the other hand, thematically plays out censorship that existed during Borgs’ career in the Soviet period. “For example, in publications, undesirable persons or objects were often erased using the so-called ‘palming method’, namely, painting a ‘palm’ over them. In an associative reference, for the exhibition Groševs has made an installation using a drawing of his grandfather, who was deported to Siberia, which is covered by palms,” says the curator.
THE LATVIAN CENTRE FOR CONTEMPORARY ART
The Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art (LCCA), curator and producer of national and international art events, is the largest contemporary art institution in Latvia. Since 1993, it studies and shapes contemporary art processes both in Latvia and abroad, with the aim of provoking a critical reflection on contemporary societal issues. Among the hallmarks of the LCCA is the most ambitious annual contemporary art event in Latvia, Survival Kit, exhibitions of contemporary art at the Latvian National Museum of Art, the Year of Hardijs Lediņš as well as the representation of Latvia in such international events as Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Venice Art Biennale, Bienal de São Paulo, Manifesta, Rauma Contemporary Art Biennale, and others. The LCCA maintains the only archive of Latvian contemporary art.
CURATORS OF THE EXHIBITION CYCLE DIVDABIS:
Solvita Krese, Inga Lāce, Andra Silapētere, Diāna Popova,