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.
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
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.
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. – 37YO DOOMER