Serenade of Shadows

Serenade of Shadows
Masha Kovtun, Olga Krykun
26/10 – 23/12/2023

Serenade of Shadows

Trauma is a strange animal. Sometimes it’s linked to a singular event. Other times it spans over long, blurry periods of time. It can be collective, but it’s always isolating. Trauma lingers. It plays the long game. It tells us we’re not safe, or that something terrible is about to happen. We wait for that thing to happen to us, and even when it doesn’t, we keep waiting. Sometimes if we wait long enough, our fears start to take shape and follow us into our waking reality. Maybe you mistake a man walking down a crowded street with a camera for a soldier with a loaded gun. Maybe every time your phone rings, you wince in anticipation of bad news. Maybe the shadows from the tree outside the window on your bedroom wall become more threatening as each nightly hour passes, and you can’t fall asleep. Your sense of the past and present is breaking, and there’s no longer a here and there, but one big same, unstable place that we’re all falling into.

But shadows can also just be shadows. If it’s so easy for them to transform into the material of our nightmares, then we can turn them into other things too, all kinds of things. For example, I’ll stretch out my arm and make the shape of a rabbit with my two fingers. You do the same, but try to make it look like a barking dog. The lamp light is soft so the shadows are a bit blurry, but it doesn’t matter anymore. We continue like this, making up our story as we go, until we finally fall asleep. 

The exhibition Serenade of Shadows is a dual effort conceived by artists Olga Krykun and Masha Kovtun. Within their work, both artists explore themes of nostalgia, longing, and an unending search for identity. More recently, they have begun to explore the physical and psychological ramifications of life during wartime. As Ukrainian artists living abroad, themes of uncertainty, isolation, and hyper-vigilance come to the fore. Serenade of Shadows is imbued with the artist’s nuanced introspections, blurring the edges of reality and escapist fantasy.

– Christina Gigliotti

Masha Kovtun (b. 1993) graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in the painting studio of Jiří Černický and Michal Novotný at the Prague UMPRUM, where she is now continuing her master’s studies in the studio of Fine Arts III under Michal Pěchouček and Dominik Gajarský. She also spent a study internship at the Angewandte in Vienna (Henning Bohl painting studio). In Ukraine, where Kovtun comes from she earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture at PGASA. She works in the medium of installation consisting of painting, video and sculpture with an emphasis on the mutual understanding of nostalgia with melancholy and the search for one’s own identity, determined by the specificity of the situation of an immigrant living in Prague for a long time. Her work relates to the theme of home in the broadest sense of the word, as a loss of intimacy and security in a world based on the endless flow of a present becoming rapidly obsolete. Masha Kovtun’s work has been presented in a number of independent galleries in the Czech Republic, as well as abroad, for example at the Lubov Gallery in New York.

Olga Krykun (b. 1994, Odesa, Ukraine) received her bachelor’s degree from the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague (Studio of Supermedia) and pursued her master’s degree in the Studio of Painting, which she received in 2021. Her thesis was nominated for the StartPoint Prize. During her studies, she completed international internships at T.E.I. in Athens, The Department of Photography and Audiovisual Arts, Konstfack – University of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm and National Taiwan University of Arts. In 2022 she became a holder of Jindřich Chalupecký Award. Olga Krykun uses diverse types of media in her artwork, including painting, objects and video, which she subsequently assembles to create complex installations. By combining elements of fictional narratives with references to real cultural and socially relevant symbols, she invents a self-contradicting mythology of our day-and-age. She works with topics such as identity, fragmentation of society, tension as a result of the personal discrepancy, and fear as a response to that. Her practice is strongly rooted in intuition, emotion and personal experience, the elements of which are approached with a distinct visual style and specific aesthetic, making her works reminiscent of surreal visions or a kind of dreamlike trance, resulting in a highly suggestive viewer experience.

Support: VKKF, Rīgas domem Malduguns

Photo: Līga Spunde

Time’s On, Time’s Gone

Time’s On, Time’s Gone
Vincenzo Ferlita, Dāvis Ozols
Curators: Kaspars Groševs and Daria Meļņikova
25/08 – 30/09/2023

Vincenzo Ferlita was born in Sicily in 1990 in Santo Stefano Quisquina in the province of Agrigento.

Dāvis Ozols was born in Riga in 1992.

Support: VKKF, Rīgas dome

Photo: Līga Spunde

Clump Spirit

Clump Spirit
Luīze Nežberte
20/07 – 19/08/2023

Clump Index
Text: Sophia Roxane Rohwetter

In her exhibition “Clump Spirit,” Luīze Nežberte presents a series of steel objects and scanned images that continue her interest in sculptural and spatial techniques of collecting, quoting, and collaging. If Luīze’s practice could be situated somewhere between formal experiments with the object trouvé and the disintegration of authorship through artistic appropriation, it is perhaps best described by the criminal act “theft by finding”. Luīze’s ‘clump spirits’ capture this kleptomaniac yet innocent spirit: these are objects made of a sticky support structure to which lost and found objects adhere to hold each and against each other, thereby transcending themselves and becoming one with the world. The clump spirits thus objectify a primordial, quasi-sublime state in which the integrity of the self is lost, a sense of boundless eternity, an oceanic feeling. 

In the spirit of the clump spirit, this text clings to another text, that is, Anne Boyer’s “Handbook of Disappointed Fate” and her prose poem “Crush Index” that lists, among other crushes, a tableau vivant of former crushes, subcategories of the never-to-be lover-crushes, species of crushes such as the crush of proximity and the crush of lack of proximity. The clump, is, like the crush, often too close to what it desires, and what it desires is often nothing more than a contingent object that it encounters on its way to somewhere else. IT IS EASY TO GO FROM BEING CRUSHED TO BEING CLUMPED, IT’S AS EASY AS TAKING YOUR HAND.

  1. Notes toward a theory of the clump spirit, Phenomenology of the Clump Spirit, ma vie en clump.
  2. Self-portrait of the clump spirit as Sigmund Freud: To work with the world of objects was to labor at the site of earliest grief. That was the infant world. What happened, first, is that you encountered a thing and then it felt good or it hurt you. This was how you found the boundaries.1Before there were boundaries, there was a contact with the body of an other felt as one’s own, a feeling of oneness with the external world as a whole, a direct fact of a sense of the eternal, et comme océanique. While the writer and mystic Romain Rolland considered this oceanic sensation to be a religious feeling, his pen pal Sigmund Freud held that the oceanic feeling, if it exists, is a shrunken remnant of an all-encompassing primitive ego feeling from infancy, a boundless narcissism that exists up until the mother ceases breastfeeding. The clump spirit returns to the mother’s lost breast to suck up a last supper.
  3. Self-portrait of the clump spirit as an appropriation artist and a copying machine, possibly one known as Lutz Bacher: All you have done to form your practice as an artist extended itself outward toward the heavens. Whatever it was you pursued in the arrangement and alteration of objects and environments until this point has been a telescopic extension.2 Perhaps artmaking is an attempt to return to the religious spirit of the oceanic feeling and to extend, through the appropriation and incorporation of objects, outward toward the heavens. The clump spirit artist moves between readymade and object trouvé, picking up objects and concepts off dirty streets and white gallery walls. The clump spirit artist is a gracious thief, an incurable criminal who follows a kleptomaniac desire as a symbolic compensation for an actual or anticipated loss. I like, when, at the end of “Pick Pocket,” the pilferer Michel says to his lover: “Oh, Jeanne, to reach you at last, what a strange path I had to take,” as if kleptomania was a detour on the highway to love.
  4. Regarding the clump spirits of toxic attachments, these subcategories: the-clump-spirit-of-toxic-attachments of the objects found in your grandfather’s garage that promise no inherited wealth but recall remnants of repressed intergenerational family trauma; the-clump-spirit-of-toxic-attachments of personal possessions that is less an intimate representation of a life lived among things than an archive of the deadly movements of global capital, the-clump-spirit-of-toxic-attachments that teaches that attachment is not always toxic and often less tight than it appears, that the libido is as unstable as it is sticky (Freud calls this “die Klebrigkeit der Libido”).
  5. Some species of clump spirits: the clump spirit of excessive decadence, the clump spirit of dust and dirty hands, the clump spirit of all the lost objects that once caused and then ended your desire, the clump spirit that sticks too hard, the clump spirit that falls apart, the clump spirit of proximity, the clump spirit of lack of proximity, the clump spirit that floods itself with the vast oceanic tides of the marketplace and false feeling and scripted hellos and the aerosolized and the ambulatory and shipping containers and social practice and smile scanners3, the clump spirit that leads with detachment and ends with adhesion, the clump spirit that leads with adhesion and ends with detachment, the clump spirit that feels like it isn’t enough, the clump spirit of the heaviness of the feeling of the too-muchness of the world, such as the heavy feeling of the too-muchness of asphalt, or of amphitheaters, soda bottles, modular furniture, or orange traffic cones4, the clump spirit of fighting spirits.
  6. If the world beyond the crush moves somewhere between romantic love and armed cells, the world beyond the clump spirit is the clump spirit itself. We can’t go three hours without encountering obstacles in our backs. We move within repulsing and adhesive bodies whose sensations constantly draw us toward other bodies, also repulsing and adhesive.5

1 Anne Boyer, A Handbook of Disappointed Fate, p. 145.

2 Anne Boyer, A Handbook of Disappointed Fate, p. 148f.

3 Anne Boyer, A Handbook of Disappointed Fate, p. 214.

4 Anne Boyer, A Handbook of Disappointed Fate, p. 136.

5 Anne Boyer, A Handbook of Disappointed Fate, p. 105.

Luīze Nežberte (b. 1998 in Riga, Latvia) lives and works in Vienna, Austria.

Support: VKKF, Rīgas dome

Photos: Līga Spunde

Torņkalns’ Drive

Torņakalns’ Drive
Ieva Putniņa
7/06 – 8/07/2023

Tina Turner’s “It’s simply the best” plays from the next room. That is enough for Ieva to have woken up and already got out of bed! “Well, this magical day has begun!” Ieva with 5 camels and 3 blind people (the number of steps) reaches the coffee machine, which it turns out Zane and Putriņa have put there during the night, non-stop rummaging in the workshop and drinking coffee. “Heh, heh, that’s nothing,” thinks Ieva, “I can pour coffee beans into my mouth and chew them properly”.
And it’s done.
After drinking coffee, Ieva starts packing her jeep full of painting supplies and CDs. “You never know how long the road will be, it’s better to take more music,” Ieva thinks wisely.
After throwing only 2 circles around Torņkalns, Ieva realizes that everything is so abnormally beautiful, so she quickly turns the corner to the right, easily jumps over the curb and enters the nearby snake grove to paint.
This exhibition features paintings where the study of nature competes with the imagination.

— Margrieta Griestiņa

Ieva Putniņa’s range of interests is wide – painting, animation, cinema, performance. Visually, her works are often reminiscent of older art traditions, but the paradoxical plot twists allow them to be located in a completely modern world. Ieva likes to create props to such a degree of reality that you only have to touch them to realize that they are not edible or usable (but maybe they are?). Ieva is a teacher at the Janis Rozentāls Art School. She has exhibited in Low gallery, Maboca festival, Ag Gallery, Riga Circus Elephant Hall and elsewhere.

Support: VKKF, Rīgas dome

Photos: Līga Spunde

Mailbox Nr. 12

Mailbox Nr. 12
Ēriks Apaļais
28/04 – 27/05

Solo exhibition “Mailbox No. 12” by Ēriks Apaļais invites the audience to a gathering of the painter’s latest works in the candid space of the 427 gallery. At the artist’s grand exhibition, which offered an overview of his work to date at the Latvian National Art Museum in early 2020, visitors could enter the painting series “Memory Object”, in which Apaļais created image models, trying to understand the meanings of autobiographical characters – the paintings functioned as maps of the psyche, in which the artist’s process of explorations was absorbed. In the “Memory Object” paintings, Apaļais discovered that the character as an object of memory is a construction that can be abstracted pictorially, softening the meanings of the experiences attached to the characters.
“Postcard No. 12” offers opportunities for new revelations of how to treat memory objects after their meanings have been critically interrogated, moving from the relativization of characters to an experience in which memory objects are transformed through their states of awareness. In the series, the family characters (mom, dad and sister) are in a dynamic relationship that opens up the possibility of new interactions and an open field for connections and additions of experiences.

Ēriks Apaļais (b. 1981) mainly works in painting and has participated in international exhibitions since 2008. Notable exhibitions: Family, Latvian National Museum of Art, Riga (2020; Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More, Riga International Biennial Of Contemporary Art, Riga (2018); Stolichnaya and Snowmen, Art Cologne, Cologne, Germany (2018); Dedication, Exploitation & Haute Collaboration, Silberkuppe Gallery, Berlin (2017); Inscribed Silhouettes, Galerie Vera Munro, Hamburg (2014). The artist has been awarded the Karl H. Ditze-Preis for best diploma, the University of Fine Arts of Hamburg, Germany (2011) and DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) award for excellence. In 2011 has been nominated for Ars Viva 11/12 prize. Ēriks Apaļais has received master’s degree in arts from the University of Fine Arts of Hamburg as a student of Prof. Andreas Slominski, Germany (2011).

Support: VKKF, Riga City Council

Photos: Līga Spunde


Jaakko Pallasvuo
17/03 – 15/04/2023

i’m wOrKiNg oN SoMe jEaNs

I’M WoRkInG WiTh sEcOnD HaNd cLoThInG

I ThOuGhT I WaS PlAcInG MySeLf iN A CoNvErSaTiOn wItH FaShIoN

wHaT’S FuNnY AbOuT FaShIoN? iLlUsIoNs aRe fUnNy


sErIoUsNeSs iS FuNnY

lOvE Is nOt fUnNy

dEeP LoVe aNd dEdIcAtIoN ArE NoT ThAt fUnNy

oBsEsSiOn iS (iN A WaY) fUnNy

i’m wOrKiNg oN ThE JeAnS FoR An eXhIbItIoN In rIgA

Jaakko Pallasvuo (b. 1333) is an artist living and working in Helsinki. Pallasvuo’s work has been exhibited at Documenta 15, CCA Derry~Londonderry, American Medium, Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw and New York Film Festival, among other places. Pallasvuo’s comics for the instagram account avocado_ibuprofen were recently collected into a book by Chicago-based publisher Perfectly Acceptable Press.

Support: VKKF, Arts Promotion Centre Finland, Finnish Art Society

Photos: Līga Spunde

Tempo Tempo

Tempo Tempo
Albin Looström
23/09 – 5/11/2022

We enter the space and we sense things have happened here. Even before the fireplace. In a time
zone that exists parallel or sideways and yet shares environments, the piping systems and even
household items with the one we are supposedly in currently. We may feel some unexplainable
longing for that world where paintings and objects that seem to move along and make faces. Do you
reply with a wink?

Support: VKKF

Photos: Līga Spunde

Dreams and Cocktails

Dreams and Cocktails
Raids Kalniņš and Shady Ladies
Curator: Kaspars Groševs
17/06 – 30/07/2022

We started with fish, wrapped up and served with generosity. We wandered through Malenia to Courland, from Prague to Vērmane Garden. Occasions of meeting – always sporadic, yet fruitful, with sediments that were floating over the waves and caught mid-air. While listening to the voice of Mārīte Veisberga, we drew strokes and debris in an imagined happening, that after all reveal themselves as a conversation between materials and threads.

Support: VKKF

Photos: Līga Spunde

Ⓗ ᴣ⎣⎣ ᴤℙ◎☈†ϟ

Ⓗ ᴣ⎣⎣

is made from our repeated hits at the grid wire cage when star blinded and spinning we kept poking the motherland-and-,,aend/end-end
through shared antipower accelerations upwards
circling the core
in the bottled static electRIXcity with light at the end of the freshly burned barrel
we turn the blocked underwater signals into Big Hertz of bowed strings

seventy stabu street
4/20/2022/427 – 5/20/2022

nutritional value 236kJ
[ chupakabra + + robertsbliezais97 + simba.20 + snarkans + CHOLAISIS + andrejspoikans11 + glociks + eternalusa +++]

Support: VKKF

Joy of Living, Fear of Dying (ft. Fran)

Joy of Living, Fear of Dying (ft. Fran)
Aapo Nikkanen
11/03 – 9/04/2022

What a name, right?
I originally chose it to refer to the bittersweetness of the fleeting moments in life, but now it reads more like a cold shower, and not the kind Wim Hof’s meditation app is proposing.
Joy of Living, Fear of Dying is the first of a series of works that are dealing with the notions of intimacy and empathy through fundamental psychological questions. “Fundamental” has in the last week started to drag a heavy weight with it, and maybe it’s a good moment to focus on things that are less aestheticized, less trying to aspire us to always “become”, and more basic to what we already are.
If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
When did you last sing to yourself?

Atbalsts: VKKF, Frame Finland, LMA

Photo: Līga Spunde

Salt on my Asphalt 2.2

Salt on my Asphalt 2.2
Uģis Albiņš
21/01 – 26/02/2022

With us seemingly knowing this and that about them, forms are building imaginary scenarios in the space of their use and interrelations. By dispersing and shuffling the usual methods of constructing functionality the industrial mechanisms reverberate in the surfaces and uneven continuations of the space to converse about the unnoticeable, the self-evident while trying to untangle the social and aesthetic choreography of form creation.

Support: VKKF


Philip Hinge
4/12/2021 – 15/01/2022

Windows, closed with broken panes, augment quartered interactions. If you stand close enough sometimes it’s difficult to figure out if you’re looking in or out. The intimate scenes squeeze small dramas into their shallow space. A cat, since expired, is coddled by a spermatozoon ghost. A distraught snowman knocks on a window, desperate to get inside. In another, a ghost is stopping in the doorway to take a long glance before finally leaving.
Although linked by proximity, these works span the distance between the pre and post-pandemic world. Their reflections invert and distance each felt moment, blurring the timeline of events and instances. Neglect is measured against happiness, indifference against a joke. The spectrum is run ragged, self-populating infinitely in the absence of an audience.

Support: VKKF

Photos: Līga Spunde

El Camino 427

El Camino 427
Ricardo van Eyk
15/09 – 16/10/2021

Often large in scale, many of Ricardo van Eyk‘s works resemble, at first glance, neglected or else partially restored surfaces familiar from the built environment: temporary panels put up around construction sites that have attracted crude graffiti, say, or else cracked walls that are halfway through the process of being re-plastered. Perhaps his practice is, at base, a meditation on time. Not only because his paintings hum with an awareness of the history of his medium, but because of their playful way with the language of entropy and repair. Patching something up – whether it’s a wall, or an entire cultural edifice – is not a done-in-one job, but an ongoing process. As van Eyk is aware, palimpsests are where we are fated to make our homes.

During a two-week working period at 427 in Riga, observations during walks in the Baltic city will inform a site-specific process in the exhibition space. As a guest to the city, Van Eyk’s fascinations for the public domain and its traces of the old and new as expressed in architecture, infrastructure and other visual identities will surely be met, resulting in a temporary interpretation.

Support: VKKF, Mondriaan Fund, Ammodo and Amsterdam Fund for the Arts, Beerfox

Photos: Līga Spunde

Laika Tips (Necessary Illusions)

Laika Tips (Necessary Illusions)
Ola Vasiljeva
30/07 – 28/08/2021

Ola Vasiljeva (1981, Latvia) lives and works in The Hague, NL. Her work has been widely exhibited internationally, including solo exhibitions at BOZAR Centre for Contemporary Art (BE), Passerelle (FR), Vleeshal (NL), Kunstverein Münich (DE), Kunstverein Graz (AT), Supportico Lopez (DE), Pori Art Museum (FI), Kaiser Wilhelm Museum (DE), Art in General (US), kim? (LV) , De Appel (NL), and others. Ola Vasiljeva is the founding member of OAOA (The Oceans Academy Of Arts).

Vasiljeva creates immersive installations, in which she fuses literary, social and cultural references to create evocative choreographed tableaux. Her practice is informed by theatricality and often seeks to subvert the sense of place, bringing the work to the realms of fiction and stage. Vasiljeva’s practice is currently concerned with the notions of decline, collapse of knowledge forms and social and cultural temporalities.

The installation at 427 Gallery, entitled “Laika Tips” (“Necessary Illusions”) reinterprets the physicality of the gallery space, formerly a small business storefront. The installation combines architectural interventions, sculpture, cultural residues and industrial remnants. “Laika Tips” articulates a sense of vacancy permeating the city, and gives it a tangible, forlorn presence. While the entire front space is staged as barely a décor, the incentive backstage hides more in its sleeve.

Supported by VKKF, Stroom Den Haag

Photos: Līga Spunde

Cybervikings of Mars

Cybervikings of Mars
Līga Spunde
19/06 – 19/07/2021

The future visions don’t sound like acid jazz anymore and – whatever sound the future holds – it won’t be audible in space. But before, each garage is seen as forge, each latte and each cigarette – as rocket fuel. Falling down a chart staircase Martin Eden sank in depths of the ocean, and at the instant he knew he was surrounded by darkness, he ceased to know. In streets of cities people join in chants while waiting for flood, waiting for darkness, waiting for the end of tuna steak era, waiting for instastory to upload.

Support: VKKF

The Anticipation

The Anticipation
Daria Melnikova
11/05 – 5/06/2021

Support: VKKF

Photos: Līga Spunde

Tiled River

Tiled River
Jānis Dzirnieks
30/10 – 19/12/2020

The show is part of NADA Miami 2020 Riga presentation in collaboration with Kim? and Low

Support: VKKF, Rīgas dome


Kaspars Groševs, Marta Trektere
2/10 – 17/10/2020

Support: VKKF, Rīgas dome

Photos: Līga Spunde

Things after things

Things after things
Anna Ceipe
7/07 – 15/08/2020

– Why don’t we ever eat from this plate?

– You don’t understand, there are things to gaze upon only with your eyes. This dish has long turned into a relief and we will never eat from it.

Anna Ceipe graduated from the Department of Visual Communication at The Art Academy of Latvia in 2016, and has also studied in The Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK) in Belgium. Since 2011 she has been participating in exhibitions in Latvia as well as outside of it. Her most notable projects include her solo-exhibition „Seeking oasis” at LOW gallery (2018), group exhibitions “Serial solutions (Banalaics)” at Riga Circus elephant stables (2020), „Melos” at Exhibition hall Arsenāls (2019) and „State of Contemplation” at Riga Art Space (2016), and participation in the exhibition „Never ending journey, invisible island” at K. K. Fon Stricka villa (2016).

Supported by: VKKF, Rīgas dome

Photos: Līga Spunde

Sol LeWitt’s WD #719

Sol LeWitt’s WD #719
Elīna Vītola and Amanda Ziemele
Curators: Kaspars Groševs and Marta Trektere
03/04 – 30/05/2020

Mosaic “Sol LeWitt”

In remote self-isolation in the countryside, where books have stayed in the city’s bookshelves and I don’t wish to use the internet, without small shell-shaped madeleine cakes to soak in tea made of linden flowers that aren’t even picked yet, I try—from what has been left at my memory’s disposal—to assemble a mosaic: one of the many possible portraits of LeWitt.

1. White quadratic bone-like structures, but also wavy lines and bright coloured areas; drawings, drawings; and drawings that—following instructions—are executed by others interpreting the unexpressed (and inexpressible); black-and-white masked colouring-in clock design and the synagogue project; studies and notes as ready artworks; and solid, substantial, open-air sculptures / structures / “special objects”. These pieces of mosaic are too trivial and already worn out (pale and colourless).

2. I’ll start again: “when an artist learns their craft too well, they make slick art”—LeWitt’s 34th sentence on conceptual art (1968). Ingūna Skuja once said that for ceramists, “slick” is a positive, even praiseworthy quality, though that only points out that the grammar of the new art’s language is transgressive, breaking past laws, and “theatrical”, as Michael Fried would have said (and did so in 1967).

3. Structures just like structuralist structuralism and post-structuralism, “even though not completely dead”, are left in the past. Even if the new virus will create “structural changes”— a phrase that politicians have tediously worn out—then the basis of its consequences include shortness of breath and pulmonary edema forming in a human body. What is bodily in LeWitt’s structures and drawings?

4. Fragmentation. The Primary Structures exhibition opened at the Jewish Museum in New York on 26 April, 1966. In the small gallery eight (a former library whose neo-Gothic details were covered with black drapery), next to Walter De Maria’s literally caged ‘Cage’ (a work made from thin metal bars), was LeWitt’s cubic structure of 3 x 3 x 3 cubes, which would have been understood as secluded and self-sufficient—like a hedgehog—by the Jena Romanticists: “A fragment, like a miniature work of art, has to be entirely isolated from the surrounding world and be complete in itself like a hedgehog” (Friedrich Schlegel’s Athenaeum Fragment, 206). It was self-sufficient, and as if tuned out, for a moment, from the surrounding ecosystem (hedgehog), a case of art being from the global art world.

5. Even though the body stays here in the metaphor of the romantic that was Schlegel, in the context of LeWitt’s works, it wasn’t only a spectator’s body (and mind) that was needed to give meaning and scale to his processual structures and ideas, but in the moment, it’s the alienation of each one—an alienation from the seemingly organic unity that “late” (global and what not) capitalism is trying to present as instinctively inevitable, while simultaneously becoming fragmented but comprehensible, and able to be implemented, albeit at your home on an empty wall: a LeWitt drawing (tell them you’re in quarantine and the copyright agency won’t enter your room…).

6. But is there anything that I can’t instantly remember about LeWitt? What to fantasize about? Look, a shred of memory—he had a short text about the form of a ziggurat which—switching to city planning—would furthermore be better than the common skyscraper in New York (LeWitt had used ziggurat forms in several of his works). In some utopian past scenario, these kinds of skyscrapers wouldn’t be hit by airplanes (it wouldn’t be so effective and easy), and we would be spared from the bothersome airport control system (but it’s not important—now we will travel less, and hike more around our homelands, besides which there will be less air pollution). Such a number of towers of Babel would most likely confuse god, and they could cancel the Great Flood, initiated via global warming; the mix-up of languages would be reanimated with the help of some super-google-translate system, because all the small and dying languages, such as Latvian and others, would become intelligible, and we would get rid of the emaciated lingua franca, the crippled English.

7. I remember lectures with quotes of memories of Adrian Piper—how she and Sol were ecstatic about Beckett—dialogues and situations without context (another “hedgehog-ist”) that fits so well with the unrepresentative literalism of the visual forms of minimalism. Every now and then, I have tried different texts by Beckett imagining examples of what they could have read, but in my opinion, the diagram with a slight time shift tracking the unsuccessful meetings of Mercier and Camier is still the best—these ridiculously absurd protagonists who share the name of the novel are immortal because they find it almost impossible to meet and… get infected (to tell the truth, I must admit that by stubbornly repeating their arrival, waiting for five minutes, going for a walk, returning and so on, they do meet after 45 minutes).

8. Literature. I rifle through the book shelf at the country house in Latgale looking for inspiration, until I find the unread Old Curiosity Shop by Dickens as a Russian translation. From the first pages, I meet the gaze of a collector type, as if described by Walter Benjamin: “There were suits of mail standing like ghosts in armour here and there; fantastic carvings brought from monkish cloisters; rusty weapons of various kinds; distorted figures in china and wood and iron and ivory; tapestry and strange furniture that might have been designed in dreams.”

9. Lines that haven’t been seen even in dreams—if perhaps credited to some mad mathematician—is what someone might say about LeWitt’s drawings. Isn’t this the right time to look into your attic, in an old closet, at forgotten childhood memories, to turn to never before noticed people? Could it be a vocabulary for the new art whose grammar is yet to be found (or, whose grammar is only coming into being)? And could this young and unpredictably diverse art vocabulary—let’s indulge in the positive impulse, hidden in utopia—be the one whose influence will contort or knock down the ruling consumerist attitude and the critical art discourse, partly servicing it, and partly battling it?

Kombuļi rural municipality, 31 March, 2020.

Jānis Taurens.

Love to Katie Lenanton!
Very special thanks to Sofia LeWitt!

Photos: Līga Spunde

Die Geister. One Step Beyond

Die Geister. One Step Beyond
Curated by Marta Trektere and Kaspars Groševs
20/02 – 28/02/2020

Opening: February 20th 7pm

This highway goes one step beyond heaven. Stomps the weight of boulders. Breathy quadraphonic howls, you find yourself in fantazia while trying to grasp figureless haze in all colors imaginable. As a drip of sweat tickles the tip of your nose you start to see a color you never thought existed. You’ve become a sorcerer’s apprentice.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice was a segment in Disney’s feature-length cartoon Fantasia (1940). The part where Mickey Mouse is an apprentice to a sorcerer and fools around with magic tricks is based on Goethe’s poem “Der Zauberlehrling”. The lines in which the apprentice implores the returning sorcerer to help him with the mess he created have turned into a cliché, especially the line Die Geister, die ich rief (“The spirits that I called”), a garbled version of one of Goethe’s lines (Die ich rief, die Geister, / Werd’ ich nun nicht los), which is often used to describe someone who summons help or allies that the individual cannot control, especially in politics. Or raves.

With works by:
Maya Bendavid, Baojiaxiang and SwS, Simon Kounovsky, Theodore Darst, Dave Greber, Valentýna Janů, Ville Kallio, Jaakko Pallasvuo, Anni Puolakka, Jon Rafman, Clifford Sage, Deirdre Sargeant

Supported by: VKKF

Baojiaxiang and SwS – WIWMAVGAIWLDSAATCWA What If We Made A Video Game And It Was Like Dark Souls And All The Characters Were, Part 1
4:29, 2020

This work has been commissioned and produced by KONTEJNER and in collaboration with Sonic Acts, as part of Re-Imagine Europe project, co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.
Anni Puolakka – Oestrus
8:27, 2020

Oestrus was made as part of Puolakka’s solo exhibition at Polansky gallery, curated by Christina Gigliotti and on until 21 March 2020.
Maya Bendavid – Popccorn Ceiling Maiden
2:27, 2018
Dave Greber – YouCantRiptheSkinOffofaSnake III
3:03, 2020
Simon Kounovsky – epoch_acts
1:12, 2020
Theodore Darst – Ripple
4:52, 2020
Valentýna Janů – Is Your Blue the Same As Mine?
11:40, 2018
Jaakko Pallasvuo – Blink 182 Barcelona
6:41, 2020
Ville Kallio – Venmo Combat
5:05, 2019
Jon Rafman – A Man Digging
8:20, 2013
Deirdre Sargent – Tigers in Toyland
10:51, 2018
Clifford Sage – Reincarnational Disorder ‘RED OUT’
8:40, 2013

Rats dream about the places they want to explore

Rats Dream About The Places They Want To Explore
Maren Karlson
06/12/2019 – 10/01/2020

Opening: December 6th 7pm

it’s what the rock says
because the earth speaks
it sings too
lalalalala doo doo doo oooooooooo
No Where is quiet
she was in my dreams again last
did i swallow a spore that made me dream
Drink coffee in the morning
Ya it’s hazelnut
Refuse to write down dream
because the rat doesn’t write it
down why should i?
OK taurus is stubborn. I write it down:

she has short brown hair that’s somewhat brittle but it smells really lovely like a worn in t-shirt that hasn’t been washed. she must dye it that color. I think she has a lot of greys, but it doesn’t matter. If she didn’t dye it I’d still think she was beautiful. age doesn’t matter. i get to roll around in her bed and smell her sheets and smell her hair. i wonder why smelling things is so comforting. breathe in really deep and fall past this part of dream into another. into another. into another. singing in my ear, it’s so quiet it tickles. my ears are sensitive. but i breathe back into hers. hers is a shell that spirals inwards. trace the shape until the scale of my finger outgrows it. not sure i can reach the center of the labyrinth but she tells me I can and puts my finger back where it was and tells me to continue on my path.

I wake up.

– Brook Hsu, 2019

Maren Karslon is a drawer and painter living and working in Berlin.

Supported by: VKKF

Photos: Līga Spunde


Anni Puolakka
10/10 – 08/11/2019

Parasiting parasites in a psychedelic ceremony.

Blood blending into sepia
We are each other’s media
In my secret world
In my sacred words
Cats living in conspiracies
Infants are eating infancy 
Mother is joining antifa 
Business as usual mama
Raining bugs and birds
Snowing bats and moose
Breast bursting milk for immune boost
Feast hurting head my brain is juiced
True parasites are you and me
True parasites are you and me

Co-performers: Marta Trektere and Ieva Tarejeva
Costumes made in collaboration with Karolina Janulevičiūtė
Music made in collaboration with Miša Skalskis

Anni Puolakka is a visual and performance artist based in Helsinki and Rotterdam. She incorporates biographical and documentary materials into fictional worlds in her videos, performances, videos installations and images. They play with the boundaries and potential of humans as they seek meaningful and vibrant – sometimes drowsy or ambivalent – involvement with other beings and objects. Puolakka’s works have recently been shown at No Moon (NYC), Kunsthalle Bratislava, Le Lieu Unique (Nantes), Kiasma Museum of Modern Art (Helsinki), and Performance Space (Sydney).

Thank you: Kaspars Groševs
Supported by: VKKF, Arts Promotion Centre Finland and Nordic Culture Point

Photos: Ira Brut, Kristine Madjare, Miša Skalskis, Liga Spunde

Bludna Loza

Bludna Loza
Anna Slama & Marek Delong
Curator: Christina Gigliotti
04/09 – 27/09/2019

It’s not easy to find the Bludna Loza, but she’s there. After walking some half day, sleeping on the dried pine needles and earth, hungry and sore, you’ll find her. She is not the tallest tree in the woods, nor the fattest, nor lushest. In fact, Bludna Loza has no leaves at all. Her bark is dark and wrinkled. Some say her roots run so deeply into the ground you could never find where they end. Ancient, slow growing, she is the keeper of our memories. All lives that have transpired and died on our planet are held inside her belly.

When you find her, press your palm to her trunk. Run your hands along her craggy roots and you will feel the pulsations, the flow of energy emanating from her–the tree that knows not death.

– Christina Gigliotti

Marek Delong and Anna Slama are an artist duo from the Czech Republic, based in Prague and Stockholm. They started to cooperate while they both studied at Faculty of Fine Arts in Brno, Czech Republic. Currently their works are created in a two seperate places and meet physically usually while installing a final exhibition piece, where they create an intended complex scenery.

Together they presented their work in solo exhibitions: “Andromeda” at Catbox Contemporary, New York, 2019, “Will I Be a Better Man If I Stop Dreaming of the Stars” at Futura, Prague, 2019, “Sticky Moment” at EKA Gallery, Tallinn, 2018, “Femme Fatale Brewery” at Karlin Studios, Prague, 2017), “Good Old Sober Addict” at City Surfer Office, Prague, 2016. Group shows: “Letting Go” at Trafo Gallery Budapest, 2017, “Afterbirth of a Dream” at Meetfactory, Prague, 2017, “Robin” at YABY, Madrid, 2018, “Wicked Anima Fun” at Gallery Stephanie Kelly, Dresden, 2018 and “When the Sick Rule the World” at Gr_und, Berlin, 2019.

Support: VKKF
Special thanks to: Rebeka Lukošus and Laima Ruduša

Photos: Līga Spunde


Botond Keresztesi, Emma Stern, Līga Spunde, Sandra Kosorotova, Tea Stražičić, Nick Zhu
Curated by Marta Trektere un Kaspars Groševs
7/06 – 16/08/2019

Support: State Culture Capital Foundation, Nordic Culture Point

Photo: Līga Spunde

A Guide to Making a Genie

A Guide to Making a Genie
Atis Jākobsons, Raids Kalniņš, Lev Kazachenko, Zane Raudiņa, Ieva Rubeze,
Viktors Timofejevs, Alexandra Zuckerman
Curators: Ieva Kraule and Kaspars Groševs
12/12/2014 – 6/02/2015

While the city is dressing up in bright Christmas lights and children are having fun in the ice-rinks with their parents sweating in the shops’ queues, in this darkest time of the year the shiny white walls of the gallery are wrapping themselves into a cloak of rosy light. Every now and again dizzying swirls of sandalwood smoke veil what has never been disclosed to the ignorant. Lifeless flowers have hung their heads down in the presence of winter. Artists’ works hiding in the dark corners of the gallery are peering back at the viewer – some in remembrance of the beginng of the world and ancient rituals, others striving to heal the ones weakened by the Christmas hustle. In a place now hiding beyond the strict rules of the rational and the material, these words are heard quietly:

Om! I wish, I plead and I command for a lot of pure, good, strong cosmic prana and akasha to flow, appear and accumulate right away in this space around me. May prana and akasha flow from the East, the West, the North, the South, the heights, the depths, the vastness, the faraway and all the states where they are currently free and can assist in the work of creation. May the prana and akasha flow that can extricate from water, fire, earth and air.”
(Mirdza Bendrupe)

Support: State Culture Capital Foundation, VKN, Valmiermuižas alus, Veto vīni

Photos: Līga Spunde


Līva Rutmane
6/11 – 5/12/2014

The necessity of this symbol has been reviewed by the Latvianizing Society that considers it to be if not acceptable, then at least suitable and necessary addition to the Latvian language. After tiring yet fruitful debates lead by chairman D. K. it was decided that this symbol – ka-pa-pi? or KPP? – seems to be the most suitable Latvian version of the often used letter combination.

For the sake of further euphony it was decided to pronounce this new Latvian letter combination by basing it on the pronounciation of greek alphabet letters of κ (kappa) un π (pi) thus ensuring its attractiveness to the users of international language and youths.

Hence examining the essence of this letter combination it was concluded that it expresses surprise, but that its conotation is rather negative – in Latvian it could be described by “troubled” and “agitated”, that indicates anxiety, an unpleasant insertion in the daily routine, a perplexity of what is happening. With this letter combination indicating the very inability of describing the existing insertion in the occurence thus arriving at an exclamation, the subject’s reaction to the absurd. Similarly this exclamation could be used when recognising the discord arising in a moment of sudden appearance of the asymetry of physical reality, finding a distortion in the succession of habits, as well as the realisation of an awkward mistake, marking the beginning and end of a euphoric state, in case of a rapid change of circumstance etc.

Līva Rutmane was born in 1984, graduated MA in Graphic Art at the Art Academy of Latvia (2014) and currently draws. She has been participating in exhibitions since 2002. There are no remarkable changes or drastic turns expected in the future.

Support: State Capital Culture Foundation, VKN, Chomsky

Photos: Līva Rutmane

Dance Blue

Dance Blue
Marija Olšauskaitė
18/09 – 25/10/2014

If I would write longhand invitation ‘I would like to invite You to an exhibition’, the word sexy could be transparent. Anchor plate binds a single My bar, it lingers for a new pole. Dance sad, while curtains are standing.

Marija Olšauskaitė (b. 1989) lives and works in Vilnius, Lithuania. Olšauskaitė studied sculpture at Vilnius Academy of Arts. Recent exhibitions include: Marija & Petras Olšauskai: “Miss Bird”, Art in General, New York (2014), “What thinks me”, Saint-Petersburg (2014), solo exhibition at Round Studio, Vilnius (2013), “Auction” Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius (2012), solo exhibition at The Gardens, Vilnius (2012), “Ornament” National Gallery of Art, Vilnius (2012).

Support: State Culture Capital Foundation, VKN, Kim? Contemporary Art Center, Malduguns, Veto Vīni

Photos: Rauls Pauls

Second Water

Second Water
Monika Lipšic
18/09 – 25/10.2014

Voice~over reads a theory of metaphor in a composition about this particular problem of aesthetics. If we watched more at beautiful things our eyes would turn more beautiful – reads the voice. But if beauty is the object of love, and love has three steps until we reach the very giving and abstract loving, how to experience beauty not embodied in anything physical or spiritual? Metaphors make us see one thing as another. A successful metaphor evokes an image which we otherwise haven’t seen before – it provokes to realize something for the first time. The composition about a metaphor sailing in the sea of stories.

Monika Lipšic lives and works in Vilnius. Her last projects were exhibition curated in Saint-Petersburg “What thinks me” (2014), Agency’s show curated at CAC, Vilnius – “Agency. Scripted by characters” (2014), group performance “Karaoke Police. A Game of Opposites” (2013-2014), residency Joy & Mirror. “Actions on the island in Sardinia”, exhibition film “Exhibition on Stage. God from the Machine” (2013), exhibition “The Collector”, CAC, Vilnius and others.

Support: State Culture Capital Foundation, VKN, Kim? Contemporary Art Center, Malduguns, Veto Vīni

Photos: Rauls Pauls

Like Nature But Not

Like Nature But Not
Vivienne Griffin
20/08 – 13/09/2014

How can one recoup yet remember the infinite beauty of nature? Returning home diffused dusk is rolling around the floor, the sun-tan fades in the cool light of the refrigerator, the impressions are shifted from their source and positioned in a new context between the damp walls.

A glacier is like a river caught in the shutter of camera. Click. Except that it’s in real time, a slow moving thing, melting shifting screaming down the fucking mountains, chunks falling off into the river and on to the sea.

Vivienne Griffin lives and works in London. She studied in Hunter College, New York (MFA 2009). Griffin works with various media, including text, drawing, performance and sculpture. She often collaborates with Irish artist Cian McConn and has participated in many group shows. Her previous solo show “The Me Song For Now Here” (2013) took place at Bureau Inc. gallery, New York.

Photos: Rauls Pauls