QUO VADIS? 7th Riga International Textile and Fibre Art Triennial
From 16 June 2023, the ambitious 7th Riga International Textile and Fibre Art Triennial takes place with the theme QUO VADIS?. The main exhibition of this major art event is on view in two venues – at the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design (Skārņu iela 10) and the Art Museum RIGA BOURSE (Doma laukums 6) – until 17 September.
The 7th Riga International Textile and Fibre Art Triennial is an important international cultural event bringing together participants not only from Latvia and other European countries, but also from Canada, USA, Japan, Brazil, Costa Rica, South Africa, Taiwan, and elsewhere. The triennial unites 79 artists from 30 countries who were selected by an international jury from 237 submissions.
Responding to the motto of the triennial, QUO VADIS? (Where Are We Going?), the authors, through their works, partake in conversations about the evolution of art and this particular field today as well as global geopolitical and social problems, engaging in self-reflection through the perspective of their time and art form. The artists highlight current topics – the brutal war in Ukraine, the global pandemic and its consequences, the climate change affecting our planet – and other sensitive and poignant social issues. In both expositions, which are arranged in the Great Halls of the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design (MDAD) and the Art Museum RIGA BOURSE (AMRB), works are structured in thematic sections.
The exhibition at the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design includes objects that look at various aspects of ecology, art development and the world of women. Exhibition curator at the Art Museum RIGA BOURSE Vita Birzaka emphasises that in today’s complex, contradictory, rapidly changing socio-political situation, the artists of the triennial mostly tend to approach topics that directly or indirectly affect almost every one of us. There are four main theme directions of the works exhibited in AMRB: Homesick is related to the globalization of the world, the forced or voluntary abandonment of native places, the movement of refugees caused by military conflicts; Peace is a short moment… marks the current wars and the traumas caused by them; Captured by reality refers to feelings during the Covid-19 pandemic and Silent testimonies talks about very private events that left deep impressions and provoked reflection. In the exhibition, the texts about the works by authors themselves play an important role, which encourage to study what led to a certain visual solution, and whether the idea of the work of art is inspired by the capacity of the specific material, or the concept prevails first and then the search is made for how to realize it.
Project leader and exhibition curator at MDAD Velta Raudzepa tells: “Expressing the more profound feelings and the attitude towards situation in the world, in terms of artistic and technical innovations, the triennial really stands out as an event of a impressive amplitude. It is like a path from tested values to unconventional, research-based challenges and overlapping aspects of disciplines: videotextile steps into documentaries, textile art turns into textile animation, mycelium becomes a result of scientific experimentation and turns into a material for textile industry, interest in the wide spectrum of handicraft techniques exists alongside classical tapestries, etc.”
The triennial is accompanied by a rich programme of events – a solo exhibition by the internationally acclaimed Polish guest-artist Włodzimierz Cygan at the Mentzendorff’s House, an exhibition of French tapestries Tapestries in Bloom produced by Mobilier national, a long term partner of the MDAD, at the Rundāle Palace Museum, the international conference QUO VADIS?, creative workshops and other events. A triennial catalogue which compiles the artworks of all exhibition members and guest artists has been launched.
The Museum of Decorative Arts and Design has been organising the textile art triennial since 2001, while the Art Museum RIGA BOURSE hosts this event for the first time. The triennial is held with the aim of shedding light on current trends in textile and fibre art in Europe and the entire world, promoting innovative future development of the field and enhancing the international standing of Latvian art.