Curator Zane Onckule will speak about kim? Contemporary Art Centre in Riga, and its position in the larger contemporary art scene in Latvia.
The 1990s introduced a certain “mood” to the Baltic region that still exists today. A key quality of of this mood is currently noticeable in Latvia, where contemporary art plays itself in a self-referential, almost performative manner. This playfulness exists in opposition to a view that, because of the theoretical, political-economic structures (the narrow circle of collectors, galleries, dealers) and art-historical measures (the lack of discursive, dialectic or critical art), contemporary art shouldn’t even exist in Latvia.
Meanwhile, the rise of nationalist right-wing movements in Europe, along with preparations for the upcoming Centennials across the region in 2018, are happening simultaneously with a series of efforts to solidify the visibility of artistic initiatives.
In light of such desire for resurrecting attention to Latvian contemporary art, Zane Onckule’s talk at ICI will inform these general shifts with a more personal experience over the last seven years as a Program Director at kim? Contemporary Art Centre in Riga. She will discuss a series of images from her and kim?‘s archive to show how both public and private curatorial methodologies can be applied and questioned while working for and with a young institution. Onckule will take the specific case of the kim?‘s 2009—2016 Yearbook (forthcoming, August 2017) to speak about various possibilities and limitations of a self-reflective and site-specific curatorial practice within this contemporary art space in Riga. The presentation will be followed by a brief Q&A with ICI’s Director of Exhibitions, Alaina Claire Feldman.
This presentation will revisit and continue themes and names first introduced at Zane Onckule’s lecture at the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, in April 2017. Onckule would like to acknowledge New York based art historian Alise Tīfentāle for sharing with the notion of playing contemporary art while referring to the region.
Zane Onckule’s talk is supported by State Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia and private donors.
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.