Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art

ARMPIT. Latvian Pavilion. The 56th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia. Catalogue

Artists: Katrīna Neiburga, Andris Eglītis

Arsenale, Venice  


267mm x 204mm

Editors: Kaspars Vanags, Ieva Astahovska

Authors of articles: Ieva Astahovska, Kiril Kobrin, Solvita Krese, Agnese Krivade, Kaspars Vanags, Vents Vīnbergs

The Latvian pavilion at the 56th International Art Exhibition presented Armpit, a multimedia art installation by artists Katrīna Neiburga and Andris Eglītis. Armpit is a sculpted system of building constructions interwoven with video-stories about a peculiar local phenomenon, "garage elves", who tend to spend their leisure time tinkering with various mechanisms in workshops set up for this hobby.

“What is at the basis of this whole "pastoral" interest in men who spend their leisure time in voluntary seclusion, tinkering in workshops with self-invented gadgets? There is a temptation to see them as guardians of the illusory belief that it is possible to find an interconnection between the real and the technologically conjured materiality of modern living. Our attitudes to the manufactured realm of things tend to become ever more passively consumerist. The reason for this is not only laziness but also fear. Even though the rhythm of our lives is increasingly often determined by various devices, we are prevented from breaking into their hermetically sealed mechanisms by the risk of losing our right to, metaphorically speaking, warranty repairs."

Kaspars Vanags, curator

“Artists Katrīna Neiburga and Andris Eglītis have built a spatial monument to marginal everyday creativity. It was inspired by a sample of vernacular architecture with local character – the Soviet era co-ops of private garages whose owners have adapted them for the hybrid use as workshops-cum-dachas. The closed microcosm of garage co-ops, where the socio-economic environment has blended with personal space, provides a step back in time. Men are still boys, but their tinkering is both the trade and hobby of individual entrepreneurs, since self-exploitation as leisure time activity is a time capsule where neoliberalism has enclosed the postindustrial proletariat.” Kris Kulakova, Editor in Chief of Vienna contemporary Magazine

Design: Associates, Partners et Sons . Published by The Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art , Rīga, Latvia 2015
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