Science and Art center “Bruzis”, from the 20th of August to the 30th of September 2016
Lauris Aizupietis, Margrieta Dreiblate, Atis Izands, Klavs Loris, Oskars Pavlovskis, Paula Pelše, Linda Vigdorcika, Lauris Vitolinš.
Alberto Di Gennaro
Alberto Di Gennaro holds a BA in Visual Arts and Theatre and a BA in Architecture. He has been active in Italy, France, Germany and more recently in Latvia as a producer for theatre and art events. He is currently an independent curator for MUSABA Foundation (Calabria, Italy), a managing partner of KKC – (Rıga, Latvia) and a freelance stage designer. His international background and experiences have encouraged his passion for collaborations, and furthered his focus on the communal use of public space and social experiments.
Davis Kanepe is a cultural activist who has created, launched or collaborated to different initiatives in Latvia – the independent music festival “rozaa peldbaseins”, the “Free Riga” movement, the Kanepe's Kulturas centrs, where more than five hundred multidisciplinary events were held in the last three years. He has made several short films, among which Vadatajs (2013), commissioned by the Latvian National Television. He is currently working on his first feature film with Tasse Films.
While writing this very text, we, the curators, are based some eighty kilometres away from each other (Rıga and Cesis). Both towns are, in different ways, emerging cultural hubs in Latvia and the Baltics. Rıga has just experienced the highlight of being European Capital of Culture in 2014, and the same year, Cesis was opening the multi-functional spaces of a new concert hall.
Seeing Latvia join this year's JCE network is no surprise for people who have followed and witnessed the fast growing interest in local and international art and culture nationwide. Talking about interests is actually an understatement: a consistent array of plans, actions and initiatives, from institutions as well as public and private organizations and independent groups of creators are being launched.
In fact, a broader and more attentive audience for culture in Latvia has pushed a new breed of managers and artists to take part in generating and shaping the landscape of cultural identity and to demand a stronger commitment from the institutional sector.
Among emerging and progressive institutions, the Institute for Environmental Solutions (IES), an international network of scientists, artists, and innovators based in Cesis, has drawn our attention on their cacophonic, yet emblematic and inspiring spaces in the centre of town.
Abandoned for more than a decade, the Old Brewery, a 425-year-old fascinating industrial monument of Cesis, is a complex of buildings merging different architectonic styles from the 18th to the 20th century.
Today, the space is in the process of becoming the Science and Art Centre “Bruzis”.
Eight young artists were selected by Diana Barˇcevska, curator of the Mukusalas Makslas salons and the Latvian National Museum of Art, Ilze Vanaga, photographer, Alberto Di Gennaro, artist and curator, and Davis Ka‚nepe, founder of Ka‚nepes Culture Centre, a private organization and resourceful platform for the contemporary art and music scene in Riga.
While analyzing the work and poetics of the eight artists who will be part of the 2015-2017 JCE Biennale, some links and symmetries stuck out, composing a sort of witchcraft kit: most of the works seem to follow each other in the form of a pagan ritual or a voodoo session.
Latvia has a peculiar spiritual climate, where monotheistic religions and pagan traditions coexist, with a shared high regard for nature. Nature is respected, protected and celebrated. We believe all Latvian artists participating in the present edition express a common ethical commitment towards nature.
There are no mountains in Latvia, the landscape runs flat in all directions. However, in the last decade, Latvian painters have started to raise the silhouettes of mountains. They are invitations to climb, palpable monuments to render the invisible visible.
By the way, this is the first generation of artists to have grown up in an independent Latvian Republic.
Alberto Di Gennaro, Davis Kan‚epe