Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art

Gitte Villesen’s solo exhibition "It runs about like ants"
LCCA Office Gallery, Alberta 13, Riga
14.10.14 - 13.11.14

The Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art is pleased to present the exhibition It runs about like ants by Gitte Villesen at the LCCA´s Office Gallery. We cordially invite you to the opening on Tuesday, October 14th at 6 pm at the LCCA. The 2-channel video installation It runs about like ants was commissioned by the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art as part of the SURVIVAL KIT and is first of three works on elderly Latvian women with knowledge on healing.

It runs about like ants is based on meetings with Skaidrīte Knapše from Kurzeme. She was introduced to Gitte Villesen as an expert in herbs. The conversations with Skaidrīte take place in her garden and living room, and the narration moves from the practice of natural healing to Skaidrīte’s family history, which has been marked by the historical events in Latvia during thetwentieth century. In the course of visits at Skaidrïte’s, and through the curious intervention of a bee swarm, the contours of a warm friendship between Skaidrïte and her neighbour, Ināra Zarubska also appear.

Present at the meetings are a diverse group of women: Ināra, Signe Pucena, Agnese Lūse, cinematographer Matilda Mester, field audio recorder Felia Gram-Hansen, and Gitte Villesen.

The idea came after having shown a work in SURVIVAL KIT 2 (2010), where three women from Gambia tell about their experience and ideas of magic and healing. Ideas which are obviously related to their context, where gender and economy are major factors.

Gitte Villesen’s videos and installations can be perceived as portraits in the wider sense: out of an encounter, they explore the form in which individuals or social groups shape their lives within the framework of their cultural possibilities. Villesen illuminates how subjects and objects are constituted in the everyday micro-politics of gestures, habits and rituals in the charged relationship between norm and deviation. By doing so she carefully avoids social generalizations by situating the practice of documenting itself as exchange and encounter – as a specific form of social interaction, in which, not least of all, the forms of representation always become the subject of negotiation as well.

Gitte’s works were exhibited in Latvia previously at the Archaeology of Reality Exhibition (2006), at the SURVIVAL KIT 2 (2010) and SURVIVAL KIT 4 (2012).

The exhibition can be viewed from 15th October until 13th November.

Collaboration and translation: Agnese Lūse 

Cinematographer: Matilda Mester 

Audio field recording: Felia Gram-Hansen 

Production: A Production e. V, Berlin 

Exhibition coordinator : Agnese Lūse 

The exhibition is supported by the Rīga City Council, the State Culture Capital Foundation, the Danish Cultural Institute and the Danish Arts Council. 

Gitte Villesen lives and works in Berlin. Her work has been shown in numerous international exhibitions and contributions to exhibitions, including: Shaped by Time, Danish National Museum, Copenhagen (2012); Les marques aveugles, Centre d'Art Contemporain Genève, Geneva (2011); squatting. erinnern, vergessen, besetzen, Temporäre Kunsthalle, Berlin (2010); I will Arrange Everything. It Will Be the Best Film Ever, Casco, Utrecht (2009); Juju White Magic, Galleri Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen (2008); How to Build a Universe at CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco (2006); Danish Pavillon, 51. Venice Biennial, Venice (2005).

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