• Benjamin Greber

Exhibition "Berlin–Riga. Scores for Indeterminate Places"

The exhibition Berlin–Riga. Scores for Indeterminate Places amalgamates various temporal line segments and transcends both spatial and territorial boundaries, focusing on the meeting of two geographical and cultural hubs: Riga and Berlin in time and space, and artistic strategies, which continue to expand and scrutinise the boundaries of art, and play “scores for indeterminate places” that exist in both physical space and the imagination.

In the exhibition, today’s creative and conceptual dialogues are formed by artists from Riga and Berlin, while a line segment expounded through time is traced by a retrospective view of Valdis Āboliņš (1934–1983), a personality little known to the general public, but nevertheless historically significant, as he played an important role in introducing and inspiring contemporary culture in the art scenes of both Riga and Berlin during the 1970s and 80s.

“Scores” are the key which connects the flow of the art highlighted in the exhibition through time and space, links the present to the past, and melds the atmospheres of ostensibly disparate cultural spaces and places. A score is both a notation of a musical work and a concept whose execution can precipitate new expression, improvisation and creativity. “Open scores” often were the basis for works created in the context of the influential 20th century avant-garde art movement Fluxus by its network of artists including Joseph Beuys, Wolf Vostel, Nam June Paik, John Cage, etc.

Discernment of such Fluxus-inspired scores in the art of today was inspired by a specific event – some time ago, the attention of exhibition organisers was drawn to the creative legacy left by the West Berlin-based artist and art scene impresario Valdis Āboliņš, prompting a re-examination of his personality and role in infusing contemporary culture into Latvia – back then Soviet Latvia, which at that time was cut off from the free flow of information by the Iron Curtain. In turn, in Germany Valdis Āboliņš’ name is linked to the organisation of early Fluxus initiatives in Aachen during the 1960s and to his leadership of the left-orientated Neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst (NGBK) in Berlin from the mid-1970s until his premature death in 1983.

The starting point for the exhibition is related to elements which characterise the Fluxus idea such as internationalism, interdisciplinarity, play, experiments, simplicity, links to daily life, its objects and environment, and overcoming borders. The works in the exhibition are not based on a historical repetition of the forms of Fluxus; instead they find new points of encounter with it, creating mutual dialogues, parallels, networks and layers which overlap as scores for indeterminate places over Riga and Berlin.

Exhibition curators: Ieva Astahovska and Antra Priede.

Artists participating in the exhibition: Valdis Āboliņš, Kristīne Alksne, Evelīna Deičmane in collaboration with Pauline Recke, Ulrich Vogl, Ivars Grāvlejs, Benjamin Greber, Inga Ģibiete, Romans Korovins, Maija Kurševa in collaboration with Edgars Jurjāns, as well as the Finnish performance art group T.E.H.D.A.S.

Exhibition supporters: State Culture Capital Foundation, Goethe Institute Riga, Riga City Council, Senate of Berlin and the Art Academay of Latvia.

Information about the exhibition in German is available here: Ausstellung „Berlin-Riga. Partituren für unbestimmte Orte“

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