PORTABLE LANDSCAPES second discussion Paris. Migration, multiple encounters and art histories

Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art project’s PORTABLE LANDSCAPES second discussion Paris. Migration, multiple encounters and art histories.

On Thursday, 15 June at 18:00, we invite you to the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art for the second discussion from the contemporary art project PORTABLE LANDSCAPES: Paris. Migration, multiple encounters and art histories

Portable Landscapes is an international contemporary art project with exhibitions in Riga, Paris, New York, Sweden and Berlin, which will trace the manifestations of Latvian art in exile and emigration from the beginning of the 20th century until today. Broadening the context of the art events, in each of the selected geographical points they are introduced by discussion workshops where art researchers from Latvia and abroad are invited to participate.

The second discussion looks at various artist-formed schools, workshops and alternative communities which existed in Paris from the 1920s. Artist communes made by immigrants often compose the so-called invisible zones or little-studied narratives of art history. Being unable to fit in the activities of the centre, the artists often decide to form alternatives to the existing systems, creating their own educational institutions and events. In the discussion we will aim to uncover such artists' groups and their activities in Paris as well as their possible points of interaction. What alternatives do the alternative schools offer? How to study processes that have not been thoroughly archived? What methods is it possible to use to study and interpret recent art history?

Art historian Aija Brasliņa will begin the discussion with a presentation that will trace modernist connections between Latvia and France in the 1920s.

Curator of the LCCA Inga Lāce will talk about alternative educational institution and artist commune Akademia, which from 1920s to 70s was run by Latvian dancer and publicist Aija Bertrāne together with Amerian dancer and artist Raymond Duncan.

Curator and director of Villa Vassilieff art centre Mélanie Bouteloup will speak about the work of her institution using photographer Marc Vaux's archive as a method for uncovering alternative art-historical narratives.

Meanwhile curator Sumesh Sharma will tell about his practice where he researches different artist mobility structures and marginalized practices in art after World War II.


18.00. Introduction. Inga Lāce, Solvita Krese

18.15. Aija Brasliņa. Á Paris! Latvian Modernists in Paris in the 1920s

18.45 Inga Lāce. Akademia. Performing Life

19.15. Melanie Boutloup. Villa Vassilieff and the Marc Vaux archive

19.45 Shumesh Sharma. The Outlands of Art & Structures of Mobility - Artists connecting pasts presents and futures


Aija Brasliņa holds a dr. art. and is Head of the Collections and Scientific Research Department (18th – 1st Half of the 20th Century), Curator of the Collection of Latvian Painting at the Latvian National Museum of Art. Brasliņa is the curator of the permanent expositions as well as retrospectives devoted to local art classics at the Latvian National Museum of Art, author of publications oriented towards detailed investigation of Latvian classical modernism, and her doctoral thesis was on the subject of International Connections During the Rise of Latvian Classical Modernism and the Formative Period of Neorealism (2016).

Inga Lāce is a curator at the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art (LCCA) and a former curatorial fellow at De Appel, Amsterdam (2015-2016), where her examination of the intertwined relationships between nature and culture, and (art) institutions and ecology has led to the production of a symposium and a publication (forthcoming in 2017). She has recently curated the exhibitions Lost in the Archive, with Andra Silapetere, in Riga (2016), as well as (Re) construction of Friendship (2014), held in the former KGB house in Riga. Lāce co-edited the book Revisiting Footnotes. Footprints of the Recent Past in the Post-Socialist Region, with Ieva Astahovska (2015), and is curator of the contemporary art festival SURVIVAL KIT 9, with Solvita Krese and Jonatan Habib Engqvist (2017).

Mélanie Bouteloup is a co-founder and the current director of Bétonsalon – Centre for art and research, as well as since 2016 director of Villa Vassilieff – an art space in Montparnasse, on the site of Marie Vassilieff’s former studio. In 2012, Mélanie Bouteloup is associate curator with artistic director Okwui Enwezor of the Paris Triennale - an event organised on the initiative of the Ministry of Culture and Communication/DGCA, the Centre National des Arts Plastiques and the Palais de Tokyo. In 2014, Mélanie Bouteloup is conferred with the French honour Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters.

Shumesh Sharma is an artist, curator & writer. He co-founded the Clark House Initiative, Bombay in 2010 where he presently is the curator along with being the invited curator to the biennale of African contemporary art - DakArt 2016, Senegal. His practice deals with alternate histories that are informed by the Black Arts movement, Socio-Economics, Immigration in the Francophone and Vernacular Equalities of Modernism. He will curate a project at the Showroom, London in 2018 and the Centre George Pompidou in 2017. He has curated exhibitions at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Metropolitan Museum, New York, Kadist Art Foundation, Paris, Para Site Hong Kong, Villa Vassilieff, Paris, Stedelijk Museum Bureau, Amsterdam, ISCP New York, Insert 2014, New Delhi among others. He has been a resident at Manifesta Online Residency, San Art, Vietnam, Cites des Arts, Paris, and was the ICI fellow for Senegal in 2014. His artist practice seeks layers through political materiality and art historical & theoretical failures while discussing the visual.

Portable Landscapes that take place within the program of the Latvia’s Centenary, will examine the stories of exiled and emigré Latvian artists, locating them within the broader context of 20th-century art history, and wider processes of migration and globalization. Portable Landscapes is supported by Latvian Culture Ministry, State Culture Capital foundation, Embassy of Canada, The Goethe Institute in Riga.

Portable Landscapes is made possible with the generous support of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia, State Culture Capital Foundation, and Embassy of Canada to Latvia and the Goethe-Institute in Riga. Latvia’s Centenary celebrations take place from 2017 to 2021. The central message of the centenary celebrations is “I am Latvia” emphasizing that the main value of Latvia is its people that create its present with their everyday work and build the basis for its future together with the new generation. The project of the LCCA Portable Landscapes is one of the events of the Latvia’s Centenary Celebrations.

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