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Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art

Survival Kit 10.0 is taking place in the building of the Riga Circus, entrance from Alfrēda Kalniņa street, from September 6 until September 30

Working hours of exhibition 

Mo closed

Tu closed

We 14:00–20:00

Th 14:00–20:00

Fr 14:00–20:00

Sa 12:00–20:00

Su 12:00–20:00

Tickets

Entry ticket (single visit) 

3.00 eur

Entry ticket for pupils, students and seniors with a valid ID 

1.00 eur

Family ticket (two grown-ups & two children) 

4.00 eur

Festival ticket

(unlimited visits)

5.00 eur


The tenth edition of Survival Kit, the largest annual contemporary art event in the Baltics, will take place in two parts: this September in collaboration with Goethe-Institut Riga in the building of the Riga Circus, while a broad concluding programme of the festival is planned for May 2019 at a venue yet to be announced.

In September and May, SURVIVAL KIT 10 will turn to the investigation of the concept of outlands, questioning the traditional division of geopolitical and cultural space into centre and periphery, shedding light on the complex construction of identity.

The curators of Survival Kit 10: Curators Solvita Krese and Inga Lāce from the Latvian Centre of Contemporary Art are joined by curator Sumesh Sharma from Bombay as well as Barcelona and Berlin-based curator Àngels Miralda. Sharma is one of the founders of Clark House Initiative, an association of artists and curators, while Miralda has worked with exhibitions in the Santiago Museum of Contemporary Art in Chile and elsewhere.

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Several years ago, as Riga prided itself on its title of European Capital of Culture, a discussion gathered steam among cultural professionals about the subject of Riga’s cultural visibility among European capitals. In examining the threads of the discussion, it was possible to recognize the typical Eastern European inferiority complex and a desire to become an equal player in European cultural space with Western European capitals, as well as the trend of asserting the status of a cultural centre with the help of achievements from the glory days of the Latvian state in the early 20th century. Undoubtedly, this discussion was also inflamed by the rather patronising and often arrogant centre-periphery relationship between the old and the new Europe, which unfortunately has not disappeared following the unification of Western and Eastern Europe.

Yet, taking a detour from the course traced by this discussion and looking at Riga from another perspective, we can see Riga as one of the so-called outlands, belonging to the as-yet-little-studied Eastern Europe, charged with powerful potential, where Riga, Prague and Sofia form a self-sufficient seismic zone of creative eruptions. This does not mean that Riga is the new Berlin, but rather that, if we step out of a Eurocentrically limited perspective, it is possible to suggest that Bombay is more important than Paris on the current cultural map of the world, or even to admit that conventional measurements of importance – size, popularity and so on – are in themselves useless.

It is logical, then, that Survival Kit turns to the exploration of the concept of outlands, questioning the traditional geopolitical and cultural division between the centre and periphery and shedding light on complex processes of identity formation. Outlands are not always geographical; the term can refer to any territory characterised by a complex politico-economic situation that makes it more difficult to reach, both literally and metaphorically. In terms of accessibility, Western countries are much more reachable and attractive than Kiev, Bucharest or Ljubljana with which we share our recent history, even though the physical distances of these places from Riga are similar.

Through the subject of outland, the festival will also look at the locally and internationally significant issue of global migration, which has brought to the forefront a row of other problems: racism, growing right-wing nationalism and intolerance towards difference.

This year, the festival has invited co-curators Sumesh Sharma, who is based in Bombay, and Catalan curator Àngels Miralda, who currently lives in Barcelona. The festival’s theme crystallised through conversations with Sharma and Miralda, who began by discussing Riga as a capital city and on the other hand a geographically and economically marginal place, and went on to compare its position with other cities in the world that for various political, economic and geographical reasons find themselves in a similar situation. How is it possible to overturn this position, not only when thinking about Riga, but more broadly: both geopolitically and in relation to social groups marginalised for their race, class, religion, or sexuality? To find answers to these questions, the artists were invited to map the so-called outlands together and place them at the centre of attention.

This year, in collaboration with Goethe- Institut Riga, the exhibition at the Riga Circus produced as part of the festival has been given the title “Leer|Stelle — Tukšā telpa”, marking the zone of common interests between the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art and Goethe-Institut in searching for the potential for transformation in Riga’s abandoned buildings and facilitating their reshaping into active points of culture on the city’s map.

Arne Schneider, director of Goethe-Institut Riga stresses: "Germany is a country in the middle of Europe. From Europe and all over the world, people come to us – as much-needed, highly skilled workers, as refugees, to realize their artistic or entrepreneurial ideas, or for many other reasons. We look forward to working with international artists to explore how these movements of people affect our societies in Europe.”


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Supported by: Rīgas cirks, Valsts kultūrkapitāla fonds, Rīgas dome, Leer|Stelle is supported by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany


In cooperation with: Lux Express, Rixwell hotel, Caffeine LV, Ģertrūdes ielas teātris, Dirty Deal Teatro, Skaņu mežs, Stirnu buks, Mežakaķis, biļešuserviss.lv, Narvesen, Latvijas Nacionālā opera un balets, Green Cola, Rāmkalni, Eden, Kokmuižas alus, Absolut., Narvesen, Dailes teātris.


Media partners: Pastaiga, Delfi, Naba, Satori, Punctum, Rīgas Laiks

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